Plenty of prizes available at cancer fundraiser

Published September 10, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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Savannah Westover, 13, stands at her home in Conway with Baby June, a horse from the Wofford Ranch in Vilonia. Savannah was diagnosed in May with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). The Conway High School volleyball team will donate proceeds from Pink Night games on Sept. 28 to Savannah’s family.

CONWAY — Hundreds of prizes will be available through raffle tickets and a silent auction during the ninth annual Pink Night, a fundraiser held by the Conway Lady Wampus Cats volleyball team.

The event is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. Sept. 28 in Buzz Bolding Arena, 2300 Prince St. The junior varsity team will play at 5 p.m. and the high school team at 6 p.m. against North Little Rock.

The proceeds of this year’s event will go to Savannah Westover, 13, of Conway, who has osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. Savannah is an eighth-grader at Conway Junior High School, but she is receiving homebound instruction while she is being treated.

She was a member of the Raymond and Phyllis Simon Middle School track team, but she started having excruciating pain in her hip, said her mother, Shannon Westover. At first, it was diagnosed as a pulled muscle. Westover said that about a month later, scans revealed that Savannah had cancer. It is in her pelvis, sacrum and a vertebra, and most recently, a tumor was found in her femur, Westover said.

She said the donations will greatly help the family because she had to quit her job as a hairstylist to take care of Savannah.

Andrea Bailey-Fournier, assistant volleyball coach at Conway High School, started the Pink Night event in 2009. It raised $2,000 the first year and $20,000 last year.

Westover said she’d never heard of Pink Night when Bailey-Fournier called to tell her Savannah would be the recipient of the proceeds. “I was completely overwhelmed, overjoyed,” Westover said.

An 18-member committee, including mothers of volleyball players, cheerleaders and the dance team, helps sell raffle tickets and get prizes donated, Bailey-Fournier said. She calls them her Pink Ladies.

She said there are more than 100 prizes this year.

“Our prizes have gotten so big, we’re doing a silent auction,” the coach said.

Some items will be placed on the silent auction, and others will be part of a raffle. Tickets are $2 each and will be available at the game or from players prior to the event.

Prizes include Razorback box football seats, free smoothies for a year, free pizza for a year, a Yeti cooler, a Chromebook, liposuction, Botox treatments, and much more.

Tammy Solberg, the mother of a senior volleyball player, has been the head Pink Lady the past two years.

“We’ve got some great prizes this year, and they just keep coming in,” Solberg said. “Every day, I’m amazed at our team of moms. They’re just such hard workers, and they have a heart for giving back.”

The eighth- and ninth-grade volleyball teams sell raffle tickets and have Pink Night games, too.

“They decorate big-time,” Bailey-Fournier said. Seventh-graders sell pink-bead necklaces for $1.

They would like to have a Pink Night game, but the coach said there are 80 on the team, and they need someone to provide pink jerseys.

She praised the community and school district for supporting the event with so many donations. Individuals can donate, too. A donation jar will be at the door, and Bailey-Fournier said a woman in another city who heard about Pink Night sent $1,000 last year.

For more information about the event, contact Bailey-Fournier at baileya@conwayschools.net.

Solberg said the committee hasn’t set a goal for this year’s event “because we don’t want to jinx ourselves.”

“I’m hoping we can just raise a ton of money to help out,” she said.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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