By Rain Ji ’19
The Gunnery Varsity Field Hockey team hosted the ninth annual Play for the Cure game under the lights on October 6 to fundraise for the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR). Many students, family and faculty came down to Barnes Field to support the cause.
This year, the field hockey team asked boys who wish to participate to raise money for themselves. The top 18 fundraisers would be able to play in two randomly divided co-ed teams. The two teams were Red and White, and each team included nine Varsity Girls Field Hockey players and nine boys. Among all boys, many successfully raised over 100 dollars, contributing significantly to the fundraising effort.
Students and faculty were encouraged to bet five dollars on the team that they believe would win, furthering the fundraising effort. Additionally, the field hockey team senior captain Laura Wells ‘19, along with the help of other girls on the team, made pink and white necklaces and bracelets, which they sold to support the cause, initiating “Beads Beat Cancer.” Furthermore, Grace Genest ‘20, Kelly Hill ‘20, Marley Berano ‘20, Corinne Bolding ‘20, Caroline Kroell ‘19, and Assistant Coach Rimany baked goods together at Rimany’s apartment for the bake sale at the game, and they sold cupcakes, biscuits, rice krispies and brownies.
The game began at 7 o’clock on the warm Saturday night, and supporters came dressed in either white or red. The energy was high, and with loud music playing, everyone was excited about the upcoming game. Before the game started, each team had a brief meeting teaching the boys how to play field hockey. The captains of each team, who are also the goalies, Marley Berano ‘20 for Team White and Rain Ji ‘19 for Team Red, organized the warm up with help from other players.
Team Red defeated Team White with the final score being 7 to 3. Frederik von Klitzing ‘20 was the lead scorer for the Red Team, and Sofia Pattillo ‘20 was the lead scorer for Team White. Many boys who picked up a field hockey stick for the first time were surprisingly skillful. Will Alling Graney ‘19 (Team Red) and Cody Sipher ‘19 (Team White), did an exceptional job on the pitch, according to other players on the team,.
In 2017, the team successfully raised $2,844 for NFCR, and defeated Westover School 2-0 in a pink out game. The Gunnery Varsity Field Hockey team played a game against the Varsity Boys Hockey team, raising more than $1,600 in 2016. Furthermore, in 2016, the field hockey team sponsored a head-shaving contest, and asked for online donations through a Crowdrise page, raising more than $2,300.
The team successfully raised over $4,000, setting a new fundraising record. Grace Genest ‘19, one of the captains, said that the fundraising “shows how generous our community is and how willing they are to give to help others.” Another player on the team, Kelly Hill ‘20, said that Play for the Cure is really important to her because she lost a few close family friends to breast cancer, and seeing what the field hockey team is able to achieve makes her “very happy.”
Joey Lin ‘19, a senior on the team, said that her favorite part about the night game is “the cheering from fans,” and she also commended this year’s fundraiser as “an efficient way to let the public acknowledge the importance of cancer research and actually get involved in the process of investigation of cancer.” According to National Cancer Institute, in 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease.
Similarly, Sofia Pattillo ‘20, who played in her third Play for the Cure game on October 6, said that her favorite part of the night was “the excitement the boys brought to the game and the fun competition.” She was amazed by how much money the school raised, and she thought that the success reflected “exactly what kind of school we are.” For her, playing the game reminds her that cancer affects everyone’s lives everyday, and “spreading awareness, raising funds, and showing support” are the things that Play for the Cure should bring to people’s mind. The goalie for Team White, Marley Berano ‘20, expressed her excitement about the game. She was very moved by the amount of energy both side had, and she was very proud of the Gunnery community.
All donations will go toward all types of cancer research. The Gunnery Varsity Field Hockey team would like to thank everyone who participated in the fundraising event, and appreciates the school’s continuous support towards the program and the cause. Next year will mark the tenth annual Play for the Cure game.