Making New Strides

It was a special year for the women’s basketball team as they prepared for the eighth annual Pink Zone game on Jan. 31. The Lady Knights not only outscored the Mercyhurst Lakers, 59 – 49, but the team raised $100,000 for breast cancer awareness.

A large portion of the donations were made by sponsors in the Erie area, as well as fundraising efforts by the team, which included selling t-shirts and a fundraising dinner at the Sidewalk Café in December. According to Jessica Deville, assistant coach of the women's basketball team, on game day, “the lobby was bursting with fundraising activities,” including raffles, homemade jewelry and handbags, pink hair extensions and donation cans.

The money raised goes into the team’s Pink Zone fund at the end of the year, and proceeds remain in the area to support organizations such as Making Strides and Linked by Pink.

The idea for the game came from “Play for Kay,” an organization that partnered with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to help raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.

Amanda Berchtold, a junior sports management and marketing major, has been a player on the women’s basketball team for three years and participated in the Pink Zone game and committee each year. As a member of the committee, she helped plan the fundraising events throughout the season, and the game itself.

"it was great knowing that all our proceeds stayed local to help people in Erie"

Berchtold said it meant a lot to the team to pass the $100,000 mark because that has been the goal since its inception. “It also really meant a lot to me because my aunt had breast cancer, and it was great knowing that all our proceeds stayed local to help people in Erie,” Berchtold said.

As an Erie native herself, Berchtold said it made her happy “knowing that all the money we raised [was] used to help my aunt and everyone else in Erie.”