When Blessed Trinity Catholic High School’s girls’ volleyball team takes the court in the 6th Annual “Serve for The Cure” tournament October 4 and 5, they will be playing for more than a title. The state champion Titans team will be playing a role in the fight against breast cancer in honor of Assistant Coach Caitlyn Lumpkin’s mother, Patti Murphy, who died in May after a nine-year battle with breast cancer.
The tournament will feature 12 of the best public and private school volleyball teams from across the region. Before and during the tournament, the team will be raising money to fight breast cancer with funds raised going to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Last year, the team raised a record $8,133, and is working to break that record this year with a variety of fundraisers planned, according to the Lady Titan’s head coach, Paul Stevens.
“Team members are totally committed to doing everything they can to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer,” said Stevens. “And it’s very close to home for the team this year with the dedication to Assistant Coach Caitlyn Lumpkin and her mother. The team is working very hard to raise all the money and awareness they can.” He added that other teams in the tournament last year helped raise money, with one South Carolina team bringing along a bag of funds they had collected in their classrooms for the cause.
Making Strides is the Society’s premier breast cancer event, with hundreds of Making Strides walks taking place nationwide every October. In the metro Atlanta area, there are three Making Strides events next month – in Cobb County on October 12 in the Marietta Square; October 19 in Newnan at Ashley Park; and the Atlanta walk on October 26 in Centennial Olympic Park.
Coach Stevens said Mrs. Murphy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, went through chemotherapy treatment, underwent a double mastectomy and had been in remission for eight years. But in September 2012, doctors discovered that cancer had returned, spreading to other parts of her body. She lost her fight with cancer on Mother’s Day 2013.
“I coached Caitlyn in volleyball when she was in high school, so I have known her for a long time,” said Coach Stevens. “When something happens to people who are close to you every day, you see the sadness and pain that something like breast cancer causes, and you want to do something about it.”
During the “Serve For The Cure” tournament, a plethora of items will be offered for sale with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society and Making Strides. Sale items include: handmade pillows and blankets; bracelets; bake sale items; team photos in specially decorated frames; and a 50/50 raffle. New this year is a partnership with Mellow Mushroom restaurant in Roswell, which will donate coupons for free pizza. During breaks in tournament play, attendees can pay to serve a ball and attempt to hit a pizza box on the floor. If they hit the box, they win a free pizza. In addition, public relations firm Liebe PR will donate homemade pies for sale by the slice for the second year in a row.
For further information on the “Serve For The Cure” tournament, visit www.btcatholic.org.
For information on Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, go to www.MakingStridesWalk.org.