Local sports officials pink up for breast cancer awareness

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Local sports enthusiasts are thinking pink.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local teams are joining professional sports teams in attracting attention to the issue by wearing pink.

Michael Doerr, athletics director at the Portales Recreation Center, said game officials are wearing white T-shirts with pink ribbon logos and coaches are sporting pink ribbons.

“What I am doing is dressing our coaches and referees of city league sports in anything pink,” Doerr said. “We just wanted to show that we are a little aware of what is going on with breast cancer and we’re tough enough to wear pink.”

Players are also being encouraged to incorporate pink into their uniforms.

“I told the children if they have anything pink, wear it,” Doerr said. “It is totally cool. We’re down with whatever you want to wear that is pink. But they’re going to be wearing their jerseys and team colors, too.”

Doerr said it would be expensive to dress all the local athletes in pink, but he’s looking for sponsors that can help with that next year.

High school sports teams in the area have also focused attention on breast cancer by wearing pink and holding fundraisers. New Mexico Activities Association has been working with schools to raise money for the cause.

Floyd, Elida and Fort Sumner are among local teams who’ve recently donned pink and encouraged fans to wear pink to the games.

Floyd volleyball coach Shelley Gilmore said this is her team’s second year of playing a “pink game” and raising money for breast-cancer research.

“We did it last year and we had a silent auction and cake auction,” Gilmore said. “This year we got pink uniforms for it and pink socks. It was a big event.”

The Broncos held a cake auction when they played against Fort Sumner on Oct. 10 in Floyd. Proceeds from last week’s Elida/Floyd volleyball match were given to a woman in Elida, to help pay costs in her fight against breast cancer.

Gilmore said her team has raised $800 for NMAA, which is trying to raise $100,000 it can donate to the “Side-Out Foundation,” a charity dedicated to breast cancer research.