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By LORRIE KINKADE
The Trimble Banner
“Winning is the only option.”
That’s the pledge many in the stands will have emblazoned across their pink T-shirts when the Lady Raiders take on the Owen County Lady Rebels Friday night in an American Cancer Society fundraiser.
As part of the national ACS Coaches vs. Cancer campaign, the two schools will face-off in a triple-header aimed at raising money for the organization that provides services to those afflicted with the disease, as well as money to continue the search for a cure.
“This is the first time we’ve done this. Coaches versus Cancer has been popular on the collegiate level for several years,” Stewart said yesterday, “but high school have just started to get involved over the past couple.”
Because the contest with Owen County was already scheduled near the campaign’s annual awareness week, Lady Raider Head Coach Kerrie Stewart said she contacted her Owen counterpart to request the teams collaborate on the fundraiser.
“We are contracted to play Owen the second Friday in February next year, too, so we are hoping to make it an annual thing,” she said, adding that the school’s will alternate hosting duties.
Along with the school’s pledge to donate $1 of each game admission to ACS, Farmers Bank of Milton has committed to giving $1 for every point scored by either team. Bedford Loan & Deposit Bank has agreed to match that amount and add $10 for each successful 3-point basket. Additionally, a limited supply of the “winning” T-shirts will be sold for $10, beginning tomorrow, Feb. 12. Stewart said $3.50 from each shirt will be given to the cause, thanks to the generosity of Donnie Wattenbarger of Champs Sports in Madison, Ind.
Just as most Trimble County residents have been affected in some way by cancer, so has the TCHS family, encouraging organizers to hold this first event to honor the memory of Jim Ray, an 8th Region basketball official, TCHS teacher and coach Paul Ruggeri, TCHS student John Meredith, and Claudia Inskeep, the mother of Lady Raider assistant coach Dwight Inskeep. The families of each of these people who lost their battles with cancer will be recognized during the games, as will all cancer survivors in attendance.
The night will begin with the freshman teams taking the floor at 5 p.m., followed by the junior varsity game at 6 p.m. and varsity playing at 7:45 p.m.
Cancer survivors in attendance will be recognized prior to the varsity game and should plan to arrive no later than 7 p.m.
“This is so wonderful,” district superintendent Marcia Haney-Dunaway said yesterday. “If we van make it a tradition every year, that would be awesome. The banks are donating, the community is giving; everyone is getting involved in this.”
Participants in the county’s youth basketball program will also be recognized Friday night, however that schedule was not available by press time yesterday.