On June 14, Maryann’s Pink Warriors, a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting and bringing awareness to breast cancer, will be holding its first Pink Home Run Derby with the Cinnaminson youth baseball organization.
Kelly Neri, co-founder of Maryann’s Pink Warriors, created the organization with her siblings in memory of their mother, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2013 at the age of 56. The Warrior team and co-founders consist of Stacey and Dave Lee, Ralph and Justine Green, Kelly and Brian Neri and lastly, Sean Green. Through their organization, Neri and her siblings strives to honor those still fighting, remember the ones who have passed and celebrate the local survivors. With help from their official sponsor, Unite for Her, they have been able to bring awareness to the resources that are available for women still fighting.
“Over the last few years in Mt. Laurel, I have come across a few families where their mothers were suffering from breast cancer,” said Neri. “I wanted to do something to bring everyone together to show that the women fighting have support and that they are not fighting alone. I tried to figure out how I could get the most people involved, and I decided to do it around the sports community.
“My son plays baseball,” Neri continued. “So for that I decided to do it around the baseball community. We put it together, we honored two Mt. Laurel women, and the kids loved it. They had a great time, and since I went to high school in Cinnaminson, a lot of my friends went on to be teachers there, and they saw what I was doing. They wanted to bring it to Cinnaminson.”
While Neri typically plans her Mt. Laurel home run derby in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cinnaminson’s home run derby was planned in June during the biggest baseball tournament of the year. Some 32 teams participate in the baseball tournament. During the one day that the teams don’t, Neri will be holding this event honoring two women in Cinnaminson who have survived breast cancer.
The home run derby will include grades two to eight, boys and girls. The winners of each grade will receive a trophy donated from Crown Trophy in Cherry Hill. There will be a raffle and 50/50, among many other activities. Also, coaches and dads will be able to participate in games after the children’s games are finished.
“I do this so that my mother fight wouldn’t be in vain,” said Neri. “I’ve done two of these events already, and I’ve received great support, but for me success is giving the people who attend the knowledge that there are resources to help with their battle. It’s also about honoring these women to let them know that they have support. Unite for Her’s motto is let the doctor take care of the cancer and we take care of the women. There are resources now that didn’t exist when my mother was going through it, and it would’ve made her battle a lot easier. So my goal is to help make the women’s journey now easier than my moms. ”
To put in orders for your Pink Homerun Derby shirts, participants can go to Tuttlemarketing.com Cinnaminson Unite for Her or go to the Facebook event page. Deadline to order is May 24. Registration and T-Shirt pickup will be on June 14 at 4:00 p.m. at Memorial Park in Cinnaminson.