March 12, 2010
Rome, Ga. - When presented an opportunity to lend a helping hand, Shorter College Baseball always steps up to the plate.
The Hawks' baseball team has built a reputation in and around Rome as eager and willing supporters of so many worthy community causes, and on Saturday, Feb. 27, Shorter hosted its second annual Striking Out Breast Cancer event during a home double-header with Southern States Athletic Conference opponent, Auburn University-Montgomery.
The event, which was organized by Shorter head baseball coach Matt Larry, raised over $5,000 for breast cancer research with the funds being distributed between The Breast Center at the local Floyd Medical Center as well as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
"It was truly a special day," said Larry. "It was great to have Auburn-Montgomery there to help support the cause and to raise money for these important organizations."
In honor of breast cancer awareness, the Hawks donned pink hats and supplied pink armbands for the Auburn-Montgomery players and the umpires.
The Hawks and Shorter's Zeta Tau Alpha sorority teamed up to sell t-shirts and pink hats and also set up two donation tables - one for Shorter faithful and the other for AUM supporters - with all donations and proceeds from merchandise sales going towards the effort.
Seven-year Shorter employee Jeanne McDade, a breast cancer survivor and Shorter's Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, was honored prior to the game and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. March 5 marked her 14-year anniversary of being cancer free.
The Breast Center's outreach coordinator, Tammy Thornton, was also on hand and threw out a ceremonial first pitch in appreciation for her efforts in the community in promoting and utilizing Floyd's Mobile Mammography Coach - a mobile unit that comes fully equipped with state-of-the-art mammography equipment and clinically trained screeners.
The community turnout was exceptional, and as Larry points out, the Striking Out Breast Cancer event has become a staple of the baseball program.
"Several faculty members at Shorter have battled and survived breast cancer," said Larry, noting that Shorter staff members and breast cancer survivors Beth Benton, Joan Blackwelder, Joan Ledbetter were honored at last year's inaugural event. "People are pleased with our running of this event and members of the community have expressed their appreciation of us continuing to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for research."
Despite the rave reviews that Larry and the Hawks have received, Larry points out that there is always room for improvement, and his plans for the Striking Out Breast Cancer event over the next several years are always evolving.
"With this being just the second year, I was pleased that we exceeded the amount that we raised last year," said Larry. "Next year we hope to have The Breast Center bring in their coach and we also want to encourage more participation from organizations both on campus and throughout the Rome community."