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Pretty in pink

Haddonfield softball team joins foundation to make comfort bags for breast cancer patients

The Haddonfield softball team is partnering with the Tyanna Foundation for the second consecutive year to recognize and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month through a Pink Out event on Sunday, Oct. 15, at Crows Woods.

While last year’s effort involved distributing pink awareness ribbons with QR codes for donation, this year the two sponsors are asking for items on their Amazon wish list to include in packed comfort bags for breast-cancer patients through the Virtua Breast Care Comfort Fund in Voorhees.

The 8U and 12U softball teams for fall ball will pack 100 comfort bags between games on event day at Crow’s Wood field one. The team will also make cards, have pumpkins available for painting, and collect monetary donations for the Tyanna Foundation.

Items requested for the comfort bags include breast cancer awareness pens, apple snacks, lip balm, hand lotion, an assortment of snacks and socks and tissues. As in the past, Haddonfield softball’s public relations director Shannon Finegan hopes to have some educational material on site at the Pink Out event, as well as a flag that people can sign in memory of someone who has died from breast cancer.

The idea for the Pink Out event began last year.

“It started as just one of our board members had a mother who died from breast cancer, and it’s really just being a smaller (softball) sport in town and realizing that it’s not just about sports, it’s about community giveback and community service,” Finegan noted.

“And that’s why we started it last year and we realized this has value,” she added. “It’s not in our season, so we’re really able to zone in and focus on a community event, not just competitive sports.”

The foundation was started in 1998 by five sisters – including Haddonfield resident Katy Bogle – to remember their mother, Tyanna Barre O’Brien, who died from breast cancer. Besides New Jersey, it has branches in Baltimore and Athens, Georgia, and is most known for its annual BreastFest on June 1 in Haddon Township.

Donations to the organization support patients and their families going through treatment. According to the BreastFest website, they can include co-pays for prescriptions and appointments, post-surgical necessities such as compression garments and medical equipment, genetic testing for patients and families, scarves, wigs and other items that provide dignity and comfort to patients.

Bogle noted appreciation for the care bags and how much they mean.

“They came up with the idea, which was so nice,” Bogle recalled. ” … Hopefully it opens up conversations with (the team). Always check your breast and get your mammograms; prevention is key.”

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc, “one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. This year, about 297,790 women and 2,800 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. But the five-year relative survival rate is 99% for breast cancer caught in its earliest, localized stages.

To help support the softball team, donate to the Amazon wishlist at https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/22LZK2BF2U7R9?ref_=wl_share.

Hours for the Pink Out are 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To learn more about the Tyanna Foundation, visit https://tyanna.org. To learn more about breast cancer, visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts/

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