WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — This year will mark the always-important anniversary for Westborough High volleyball assistant Kiely Murray — 26 years since her mother beat breast cancer.
"I'm one of the very fortunate people to have a survivor in their life," said Murray. "My mother will celebrate her anniversary in January and it never gets old."
Thanks to the help of Murray, volleyball coach Roger Anderson, along with a slew of volunteers and donors, Westborough's fourth annual Dig Pink breast cancer awareness fundraiser had its most successful year yet, surpassing its goal before the match was even played.
"It's fantastic to see the event run itself in the fourth year," she said. "I love that it's become a great day to the school and to see the kids come out. What is really nice about it is that it's turned into something that brings the senior class together."
The event included freshman, JV and varsity volleyball games against Shrewsbury High, a breast cancer ribbon themed bake sale and a table promoting health and wellness.
Before the match, Anderson made his address to the crowd, which was requested to wear pink. He announced that before any of the proceeds from donations at the door or the bake sale, more than $2,000 had already been collected. The goal was $1,500.
"The fans were spectacular, the faculty came out today, there were at least a dozen faculty members here and we raised a lot of money for a really good cause," said Anderson, who also read a list of those who have passed away from or have beaten breast cancer. Those in attendance were invited onto the court for recognition.
"Some of those survivors have been here for all four years we've done this and to see them continuing to thrive is just amazing. Every year we get new names to read."
Miriam Campanelli, whose daughter Rachel plays on the JV team, and Lisa Mair are both health coaches who gave out everything from magazines to fruit at their table in the attempt to raise awareness of how a healthy diet and lifestyle can help prevent all sorts of illness, including breast cancer.
"We try to help people stay healthy, avoid sickness and disease — including breast cancer," Mair said.
The ideals the two were promoting didn't quite fall in line with the baked goods for sale across the way, including chocolate covered Oreos and breast cancer ribbon cookies, but they did agree on the cause.