The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is rebranding its WBCA Pink Zone initiative as “Play 4Kay” this season. Women’s basketball teams will stage Play 4Kay games Feb. 10-20.
To date, more than 1,300 teams and individuals have supported the Kay Yow Cancer Fund through their participation in the 2011 breast cancer awareness campaign, which was held Feb. 11-20. Donations totaled more than $650,000.
“I am once again overwhelmed at the support of the women’s basketball community and other members of the sports community at large,” said Marsha Sharp, executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. “Through their efforts, we continue to uphold coach Yow’s legacy and help to further research that can one day lead to a cure.”
The Play 4Kay effort maintains the same mission as its Pink Zone predecessor: to engage a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund will remain the official charity of the initiative.
The Pink Zone was created in 2007 after Yow’s third recurrence of breast cancer was diagnosed in 2006. Before she died Jan. 24, 2009, Yow − along with the WBCA and The V Foundation − united thousands in the fight against women’s cancers. Since then, the movement continues to grow and change lives, especially during February.
“By rebranding the WBCA Pink Zone into Play 4Kay, every member of ‘Kay’s Team’ can quickly and easily explain why we do what we do,” said Nora Lynn Finch, Kay Yow Cancer Fund board member. “Play 4Kay will tell Coach Yow’s story and will impact everyone’s effort to support the fight against cancer.
“All of us – coaches, athletes, donors, friends, admirers, fans and those touched by cancer directly or indirectly – will simply be on Kay’s Team, playing for the legendary coach who inspired, encouraged, and taught us to serve others.”
Supporting organizations of the 2011 initiative included:
• National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators
• National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
• National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators
• College Sports Information Directors of America
• Women’s National Basketball Association
• National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
• National Junior College Athletic Association
• NCAA conference offices
WBCA supporters and sponsors also got involved in the initiative, including Nike (Kay Yow line), girls got game, Russell Athletic (official apparel provider) and Wilson (official basketball). Each donated a portion of any proceeds to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Hundreds of WBCA Pink Zone games were broadcast via television or Internet stream. ESPN continued its ongoing support of the initiative by dedicating its annual “February Frenzy” women’s college basketball games on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com to supporting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. CBS College Sports Network, Fox Sports and the Big Ten Network also joined the cause by promoting the WBCA Pink Zone nationwide efforts and encouraging donations to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund during televised WBCA Pink Zone games.