Conway High School Athletics


Pink Night to help teen battling cancer


501 Magazine | 9/11/2017

PHOTO CREDIT: 501 Magazine

The Conway High School Volleyball Team is planning its Ninth Annual Pink Night, with this year’s proceeds helping a young girl battling cancer.
Players, coaches and parents are planning the event, scheduled 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at Buzz Bolding Arena.

“Every year, we raise money for someone who is fighting cancer,” said Andrea Bailey-Fournier, assistant volleyball coach at CHS. “I came up with the fundraiser after my aunts were diagnosed with breast cancer. We have raised money for former players, players’ parents and people in the community.”

Over the years, the event has generated around $80,000.

This year’s event is in honor of Savannah Westover, a 13-year-old who was diagnosed in May with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.

Located in her pelvis, spine and femur, the cancer is inoperable and treatment includes 15 rounds of chemotherapy.

Money from T-shirt sales, a silent auction and a raffle will be donated to Savannah, whose wish is to go on a Disney cruise. Remaining funds will be used for medical bills and daily expenses. Savannah’s mother quit her job to provide full-time care for her daughter, who is now a homebound student. Savannah previously attended Theodore Jones Elementary School and Raymond and Phyllis Simon Middle School. She would have started eighth grade at Conway Junior High School this fall and was interested in trying out for the volleyball team.

The team coaches and moms with players on the volleyball team – affectionately known as Pink Ladies – are organizing the event. “They’ve all stepped in and are just amazing,” said Tammy Solberg, chairman again this year of the group.

This is the first year for Gena Turner to serve on the committee. She said it says a lot that members want to continue to help even though they no longer have players on the team. “They are doing it for the right reason,” she said. “I’m also thankful for coaches who teach the girls to give back.”

Money is generated by selling a Pink Night T-shirt throughout the school district. There is also a silent auction and raffle for prizes donated by local businesses. Silent auction items include box seats to a Razorback football game, Pizza Hut for a year, a pair of saltwater pearl earrings and a Chromebook. Raffle prizes include a Yeti cooler, Smoothie King for a year, a flat screen TV and an Amazon Echo.

New this year, 300 rally towels have been donated that will be used to promote the event and will also be sold. Crain Automotive has also donated hamburgers that will be sold with a chip and drink the night of the event.

Last year, proceeds went to Tina MacNamara, who was battling breast cancer. Her death in June has been very tough for organizers.

Gena said Tina being the beneficiary gave the event a lot of recognition. “I think it’s definitely helped this year because of last year.”

Andrea said last year’s event was very successful and Tina played a big part. “She wanted to be here so bad,” Andrea said of Tina, whose hard work last year lives on as a legacy this year. “We’re all going to be Tina this year. She’s definitely going to be missed.”

Organizers are getting help this year from the Conway Dance Team and the Conway High cheerleaders, who are in charge of the silent auction.

There will also be volunteers from the Delta Zeta chapter at the University of Central Arkansas and the Junior Auxiliary of Conway.

On Pink Night, the Conway Lady Cat varsity and junior varsity teams will don their pink jerseys to play 7A Conference rival North Little Rock. The JV game is at 5 and the varsity game is at 6. Conway and North Little Rock were co-conference champions last year so organizers are expecting a great game.

Tammy said she would really like to see the stands filled on Pink Night. Admission is only $1.

For more information, to help or to order a T-shirt, contact Andrea at 479.264.5456 or one of the committee members. Information is also available on the Pink Night 2017 page on Facebook.

Each year, Andrea emails players and their parents to seek nominations for the beneficiary. She said it is a difficult decision on which one to select. “Savannah just kind of won our hearts,” Andrea said, adding that she can tell a difference with her players this year and she thinks it is because Savannah is so close in age with her team.

Andrea has asked her players to think about their concerns and t... Click here to read full article