Volleyball teams Dig Pink to raise funds for local cancer patients

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Around the region and the state this year, high schools were engaged in raising funds for cancer patients through Dig Pink events.

"Dig Pink" is the name of the Side-Out Foundation's national October breast cancer rally. A Dig Pink event can be organized at the local, county, city or state level, and it is supported by college, middle and high school volleyball coaches and teams, as well as club teams. Proceeds usually benefit the Side-Out Foundation, which in turn awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing patient services to breast cancer patients and their families. Teams may also elect to donate funds directly to a local recipient.

The Lady Warriors volleyball team, with help from classmates and members of the community, raised $1,700 on Oct. 22 during their Dig Pink game. Proceeds were donated to Sandi Rae Padilla, who is undergoing treatment for cancer and needs help with expenses.

Padilla, a 1990 graduate of Socorro High School, is undergoing treatment for breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain, lungs and other organs. It is her second bout with cancer.

Half of the funds raised from ticket sales for the game were donated to Padilla, as well as funds raised through a drawing for donated cakes, a bake sale, T-shirts and breast cancer awareness items sales, and a 50/50 drawing.

"So many have reached out to help her and pray for her," Sandi's mother, Margaret Padilla, said. "She has amazing strength and such an incredible support system. It's a beautiful story."

Padilla had to quit working in July and move back to Socorro in order to continue her treatments. The donated funds help with transportation and other costs.

The Magdalena Lady Steers held a Dig Pink volleyball game fundraiser Oct. 15 against Alamo Navajo, raising approximately $400. Proceeds from the game were donated to local resident Monico Baca, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Baca was undergoing treatment in Arizona and needed funds for equipment and transportation to return home for his final days. The community of Magdalena also held a dinner to raise funds for Baca. The funds raised by the volleyball team and the community helped him return home to be with family for his final days.

Sarracino Middle School also participates in the fundraising efforts. The middle school will host a Think Pink Volleyball Buyout this Friday at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium.

The matchup will be faculty/staff against students. There will be two games — the first poses the seventh-graders against the faculty/staff team, and the second will pose the eighth-graders against faculty/staff. Faculty and staff who will compose their team are Joseph Contreras, Catrina Lucero, De'Ann Luce, Robert Mata, Rodney Mayfield, Kyle McClinton and Margaret Stanley.

Tickets are $2, and student council members will sell them during lunch, or tickets can be purchased at the door.

Staff and students will make posters to honor those they know who have battled or are battling cancer. Posters will be displayed for the game.

All proceeds from the game will be donated to a member of the Socorro community who is battling cancer. Though an individual has been selected to be the recipient, the person's name is not being released until further paperwork can be completed and information verified.