Cornell College women’s basketball hosts fundraising game

The Cornell College women’s basketball team will not only play for the win against Knox College on Feb. 4, they’ll Play4Kay.

The team has organized a fundraising game to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund for women’s cancer research. This is the first time the college has organized a Play4Kay game, and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Lindsay Smith said the team wants to make a difference.

“We are really hoping to raise awareness of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, invite fans to come watch us play, and honor the brave women who have survived, are fighting, or have lost their lives to cancer,” Smith said. “Any money we can raise for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund is an added bonus!”

Yow was the head coach of the North Carolina State women’s basketball team. She died of breast cancer in 2009. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund started in December of 2007 during the final stages of her battle with cancer. According to the organization’s website, Yow’s vision was to unite coaches, players, and the entire basketball community to raise money to find a cure for cancer.

Cornell College’s Madie Rinehart ’17 plays on the basketball team. She said  Yow’s story reminds her of how lucky the team is to have basketball and their health, but she knows what it’s like to see the struggles of cancer first hand.

“My best friend’s mom battled breast cancer during my senior year of high school,” Rinehart said. “Darlene’s strength inspired us to fight hard on the court because she was fighting even harder for something more important off the court. She eventually beat cancer and reminds me to fight for what matters most.”

Play4Kay game details:

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m.

Where: Richard and Norma Small Multi-Sport Center on the Cornell College campus in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Who: The public is invited – basketball ticket fees apply (The game is free to community members with a Purple Pass. Admission for everyone else is $5 and children under 12 are free. Everyone is encouraged to wear pink.)

Each team member has an individual page for donations online. Fans can also donate at the game by volunteering to ride a spin bike for a portion of the game. A local business will be donating money for each mile on that spin bike.

“We hope that we can provide a fun atmosphere for our fans, while also showing that anyone can help make a difference,” Smith said. “For those battling cancer, we hope to show that their courage has inspired us, both on the court and in our daily lives. There is much more to life than the game of basketball, and it is great to see how our women can play for something bigger than themselves.”