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Think Pink raises money for breast cancer program

UMW News Bureau

Nearly doubling last year’s donation, the Montana Western women’s basketball team helped raise $2,644 for Barrett Hospital’s Southwest Montana Mammography Program as part of the nationwide Pink Zone breast cancer awareness events. UMW NEWS BUREAU [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="451" caption="From left to right: Cash Yount, Barrett Hospital Foundation intern and 2010-2011 UMW Student Senate Vice President; UMW women's basketball head coach Cara Cocchiarella; Barrett Hospital & HealthCare Lead Mammographer Lesli Cottom; Barrett Hospital Foundation Associate Manager Stephanie Vinson; UMW women's basketball forward and center Hayley Pettit; and UMW women's basketball guard Alyssa Ladenburg. The group is pictured with Barrett Hospital & HealthCare’s new state-of-the art full-field digital mammography machine."]pink zone check[/caption] Nearly doubling last year’s donation, the Montana Western women’s basketball team helped raise $2,644 for Barrett Hospital & HealthCare’s Southwest Montana Mammography Program as part of the nationwide Pink Zone breast cancer awareness events. The Southwest Montana Mammography Program provides mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women in Beaverhead and Madison counties. The Bulldog’s Pink Zone fundraiser, Think Pink, took place on Feb. 25 when the Bulldogs faced Rocky Mountain College. Fans wearing pink were admitted to the game free of charge and organizers took donations throughout the evening. Catholic Campus Ministries, the Montana Western Student Senate, the Humans in Performance (HIP) Club and other individuals from the community were also part of the fundraising effort. The volunteers also sold pink shirts to raise funds prior to the game. The fundraising partnership has grown significantly since it began four years ago. Last year the women’s team raised $1,762. “All the money we receive for our program goes towards helping the women of Beaverhead and Madison counties,” said Lesli Cottom, lead mammographer for Barrett Hospital & HealthCare. “We appreciate not only the money raised by these young people but the awareness they bring to the college community. It is obvious that breast cancer touches everyone in some way. With the tough economic times it is important that we continue to help and support the uninsured of our community because as we all know, early detection is our best protection.” Head coach Cara Cocchiarella said she and the members of her team are proud to be a part of the community partnership and national program. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="236" caption="Think Pink night at the Straugh Gymnasium."]Think Pink[/caption] “Everyone has been affected by breast cancer in one way or another and the girls in our program take their opportunity to help out with this event very seriously,” Cocchiarella said. “They all really look forward to the pink shirts and there is some pride on the line every year regarding who can sell the most. We have been fortunate to have Campus Catholic Ministries and Student Senate work with us as well. Pink Zone events raise considerable awareness nationwide and we are excited to be a part of it.” Montana Western Foundation Executive Director Amberly Pahut said the event has become a point of pride for the whole campus, Barrett Hospital & HealthCare and the Dillon community. “We are so proud to be a part of this event,” Pahut said. “It’s amazing how much Think Pink has grown. It really illustrates how generous this community is and also just how many people are affected by breast cancer.” On Wednesday, March 26, Cara Cocchiarella and two of her players, Hayley Pettit and Alyssa Ladenburg, delivered the $2,644 check to the Southwest Montana Mammography Program. It is a tradition the coach and her players look forward to more and more each year. “Being able to give back to our own local community is something that the girls really take to heart,” Cocchiarella said. Barrett Hospital & HealthCare’s Lesli Cottom said it is important to remember all the donations have a real impact on real people in the community. “With this money we will be able to pay for screening mammograms for 13 women,” Cottom said.