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UMW News Bureau

The University of Montana Western will join the “Pink Zone” initiative this weekend. The University of Montana Western will join over 1,250 schools around the nation to support the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) “Pink Zone” initiative this weekend. The “Pink Zone” initiative is a global, unified effort of the WBA's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. Montana Western will join the “Pink Zone” on Friday, Feb. 13 when the Bulldog women host Westminster College in a Frontier Conference game. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. in the Straugh Gymnasium on the UMW campus in Dillon, Mont. Fans wearing pink will be admitted free to the contest. The Bulldog players will wear pink socks and “Pink Zone” shirts during warmups. The UMW coaching staff will wear pink ties to show their support of the initiative.   “The players and coaches are proud to be able to participate in the WBCA's “Pink Zone” initiative,” Bulldog coach Kevin Engellant said.  “We experience the reality of cancer around us every day and this is a great way for us to raise awareness and show support.” The Dillon community has rallied behind the Bulldogs in support of the “Pink Zone. Judy Siring of Farmers Union Insurance is making a donation for each free throw made by the Bulldogs during the game. Tom Bramlette of Bramlette & Company Realtors is making a donation for each three-point basket made by the Bulldogs. Kasey Briggs and Phil Willett, the voices of the Bulldogs on KDBM radio, will make a donation for each Bulldog assist. There will be raffles and prize giveaways throughout the game. The Montana Western Campus Catholic Ministries are making special Valentine’s Day cakes for auction. All of the monies raised at the “Pink Zone” game will go to the Southwest Montana Mammography Program of Barrett Hospital and Health Care. “It has been nothing short of miraculous to watch teams and organizations across the nation rally behind the fight against breast cancer through the WBCA “Pink Zone” initiative,” says WBCA CEO Beth Bass.  “As our coaches constantly reiterate the concept of ‘teamwork’ to our student-athletes, it is personified and brought to life through this initiative. The WBCA began this initiative, formerly known as "Think Pink," in 2007 as an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities.  In 2007, more than 120 schools unified for this effort and helped make the inaugural year a success. In 2008, over 1,200 teams and organizations participated, reaching over 830,000 fans and raising over $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research.