By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — The cancer awareness fundraising effort that’s been going on throughout the St. Joseph school district this past month has come to a close.
The effort, known as Team Up Against Cancer, was capped off by a St. Joseph varsity football game on Sept. 30 that had sponsored pink jerseys on showcase.
Through the summer of selling tie-dye shirts to the money raised from vendors at the football game, the school district and its community raised nearly $12,000.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” said Amy Groom, a booster who helped orchestrate the drive. “We had a good turnout and want to build on that.”
All proceeds will be split evenly between the Marie Yeager Cancer Center, Berrien County Cancer Services and Susan G. Komen of Michigan.
Among the fundraising opportunities included tie-dye shirt sales, vendor sales before the football game and money that stemmed from the pink jersey sponsorships.
Groom said the jersey sponsorships helped boost the final figure the most. The jerseys involved several St. Joseph football players that suited up with different names on the back of their jerseys.
The jerseys allowed students to play in memory or in support of friends and loved ones. After the game, players gave away their jerseys to the people or families that were represented.
Since this was Team Up Against Cancer’s first year, Groom said their was no goal for how much they wanted to raise. However, Groom said they hope to make the fundraising effort an annual event.
“When you first see something you have no idea how everything is going to turn out,” Groom said. “We had a tremendous response from the community. We had cancer survivors, who I felt were courageous to take part in the cancer walk. The line of people in the stands cheering them on was the highlight of the night.”
Denise Bohn, who was considered a large influence for the Team Up Against Cancer effort, was a representative for Susan G. Komen. Bohn, murdered by her husband in April, was honored by attendees at the Sept. 30 football game with a pink sponsored No. 1 jersey of her own.