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January 22, 2009 4:08 am

Lady Panthers to promote breast cancer awareness

Written by Tribune Staff

When the girls basketball teams from Powell and Worland high schools square off, the crowd typically takes on the distinct shades of orange and black. However, when the two teams meet in Powell on Friday, Jan. 30, they want to leave everyone seeing pink.

Thanks to an idea proposed by Bruce Miller, activities director at WHS, the two teams will don pink-and-white uniforms as part of an event aimed at increasing breast cancer screening and education. The event in Powell and activities planned in conjunction with the Hoops for Hope game are being conducted in an effort to raise money for Women's Wellness, a non-profit, Powell-based organization created in 2005 to help women in the Big Horn Basin locate health services including mammograms, wellness screenings, diagnostic testing, case management and self-examination education.

Miller noted that when the Lady Panthers visit Worland for the two teams' second matchup of the season on Feb. 26, the squads will again join forces to promote the Lady Warriors' version of the Hoops for Hope event. In both games, the Lady Panthers will wear white uniforms with pink letters and numbers. The Lady Warriors will have pink shorts and tops with white letters and numbers.

“A lot of colleges are doing things like this, so that's where the idea came from,” Miller said. “Our kids are really excited about it, and we think this a good way for them to give back to the community. There are a lot of people out there who have had some type of experience with breast cancer. I had an aunt pass away because of breast cancer, and my mother had it as well. Fortunately, she's still with us.

“We think this will be a great thing for both communities. Powell and Worland are a lot alike, and the people are great about helping out. That's why we believe this will be a big success.”

The girls teams aren't the only ones who will be wearing pink during the events in Powell and Worland. According to Jeff Jones, activities director and assistant principal at PHS, the boys teams will get into the act as well. Jones said the Panther boys will wear black warm-up shirts with pink lettering.

The two schools also are selling t-shirts for fans to wear at the boys and girls games on Jan. 30 and Feb. 26. According to Jones, both programs want their respective crowds to resemble a sea of pink. So for PHS fans who don't already have something pink to wear, they are encouraged to purchase one of the pink t-shirts designed by Vision West in Powell.

Jones said the events Jan. 30 will begin at 4 p.m. at PHS. Women's Wellness will have an information area set up in the PHS Commons and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about organization throughout the night.

The PHS student council also will be selling pink t-shirts and other items, and the Powell Athletic Roundtable will be selling pink, autographed basketballs. According to Jones, fans will be able to preview the items to be included in an auction at approximately 7 p.m., which will be between the girls and boys varsity games. Among the items included in the auction will be autographed jerseys from pro football players Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins and Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens.

As for the basketball games, Jones noted that the boys teams are scheduled to play at 5:45 p.m. and the girls squads are slated to square of at 7:30 p.m. During the girls game, he said that pink buckets will be passed down each aisle so those who want to make a donation can do so.

Several school functions before and after the games also are expected to raise money for Women's Wellness, including a date auction for students. Jones also said there will be a student dance following the conclusion of the game between the Lady Warriors and Lady Panthers.

“A lot of planning has gone into this,” Jones said. “A steering committee has been meeting over the last few months and coordinating our event here in Powell. The activities this committee has planned leading up to and on Jan. 30 are outstanding, and we are hopeful we will raise plenty of awareness and needed funds.”

Those wanting to purchase a pink t-shirt for the event can do so in a variety of ways. The PHS student council has already started selling the shirts at PHS. Those sales begin each day at 3:20 p.m. The shirts, which are $8 each, also can be purchased at Vision West, which is located in the basement of Wyoming Financial, which formerly was known as Nelson Insurance. To place an order, fans can call Vision West, the designers of the Hoops for Hope logo and commemorative t-shirt, at (307) 754-1000. For last-minute purchases, fans can buy pink t-shirts at PHS on the night of the games.

For those wanting to get a head start on learning more about Women's Wellness, located at 615 E. 7th St. in Powell, they are encouraged to call (307) 754-5252.