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Members of the 2011 Big Pink Volleyball committee at WIU. Back row, from left: Judy Yeast, associate director, WIU Campus Recreation; Bryan Schreder (Hecker, IL), senior, agriculture; Sam Perkins (West Branch, IA), graduate student, recreation, park and tourism administration; Eric Jaburek (Beach Park, IL), graduate student, college student personnel; Molly McKeogh (Blue Bell, PA), graduate student, sport management. Middle row, from left: Natalie Nocek (Lombard, IL), sophomore, physical education; Kelly Delehanty (Loves Park, IL), senior, chemistry; Taylor Brace (Washington, IL), sophomore, athletic training; Sara Dam (Sioux City, IA), graduate student, college student personnel; Katelyn Kott (Sandwich, IL), junior, elementary education; and Alicia Pugh (Matteson, IL), junior, biology. Front row, from left: Megan Thurston, complex director, Thompson Hall; Trent Moore (Lansing, IL), senior, recreation, park and tourism administration; Stu Regnier, Susan G. Komen Foundation (Peoria affiliate); Lauren Wolk (Johnsburg, IL), senior, special education; and Dustin Van Sloten, assistant director, Campus Recreation. Not pictured: Jenn Sanders (Little Rock, AR), graduate student, college student personnel.

2011 Big Pink at WIU Raises More Than $16,000 for Breast Cancer

December 14, 2011


MACOMB, IL – During this season of giving, Western Illinois University has provided yet another substantial contribution to help fund the cause of beating breast cancer. According to Judy Yeast, associate director of Campus Recreation, Western's annual Big Pink Volleyball Tournament, held in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, raised $16,362.94. Yeast noted the money raised was split between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation (Peoria, IL, affiliate) and the McDonough District Hospital (Macomb, IL) Mammogram Assistance Program.

Earlier this month, a representative from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation visited the WIU-Macomb campus to accept the funds on behalf of the 2011 Big Pink Volleyball (BPV) committee comprised of students and staff. Since 2002, when BPV was first started at WIU by University Housing and Dining Services, Thompson Hall and Campus Recreation, the Western Illinois University community has raised a total of $83,439.35 for breast cancer. Yeast noted that since that time, 9,445 students, faculty and staff have participated in the annual tourney at Western.

"Every year, Big Pink Volleyball draws more and more students and members of the Western community to help the breast cancer cause," Yeast explained. "Big Pink Volleyball has now spread to 15 other college campuses across the United States; many of our alumni have helped start BPV at other colleges and universities. And thanks to the efforts of WIU alumna Courtney James, who earned her master's degree from Western's college student personnel program in 2010, there is a national BPV network [see bigpinkvolleyball.weebly.com/] that can help other colleges, universities and institutions start their own Big Pink Volleyball programs," Yeast added.

In addition to spreading to higher education institutions, BPV was also started at Peoria-based Maui Jim Sunglasses this past fall. After participating in BPV her first year at WIU, Katelyn Stinson, a senior law enforcement and justice administration major from Peoria, told her mother, Barbara Stinson, a long-time employee of Maui Jim Sunglasses and a breast cancer survivor, about the event. Barbara was integral in starting a BPV tourney at Maui Jim.

"We have about 300 employees here, and we had 85 people sign up to play on 13 teams, so about one-third," Barb said. "We ended up playing just on our grounds here at Maui Jim. From all of the different things we did, we raised about $2,200."

Katelyn noted she is proud her mom was able to successfully organize a Big Pink Volleyball tournament at her place of employment. "I thought it was cool that she did that," Katelyn said. "It's because of events like Big Pink Volleyball that so many breast cancer survivors, like my mom, can continue to enjoy good times with their children, families, friends and co-workers."

The 11th Annual Big Pink Volleyball Tournament at WIU was sponsored by Thompson Hall, University Housing and Dining Services, Campus Recreation, the University Union Board, Campus Recreation Special Events, as well as by the following Macomb businesses: Aurelio's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Walmart, Lil' Stitches, Engraving by Lin and the International Sandwich Shop.

For more information, contact Yeast at Campus Recreation at (309) 298-1228 or JA-Yeast@wiu.edu.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606