Courtney Abrahamovich sports a pink jersey at last season's Breast Cancer Awareness match.
Sept. 26, 2013
Champaign, Ill. – The Illini Networkers, volleyball’s dedicated support group, will host a set of silent auctions at this weekend’s matches, where fans will have the chance to bid on special pink jerseys that will be worn in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness match, “Workout a Cure,” on Oct. 20. For those who are not able to attend the match, an additional three jerseys will be auctioned on eBay from Saturday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. to Sunday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. All benefits will go to the Mills Breast Cancer Institute in Urbana, Ill., which helps local breast cancer patients. Donations will also be accepted at the auction tables all weekend.
The silent auction will feature 15 special-edition jerseys, 14 of which will be pink with navy and white trim, while libero jersey to be worn by Jennifer Beltran will be navy with pink trim. The auction begins when doors open at 6 p.m. on Friday night at State Farm Center and will be held near the Main West entrance. Fans will have an additional chance to bid on Saturday, with the auction re-opening with the doors at 3 p.m. on the North end of Huff Hall and concluding at the start of the third set. The winners will be announced following the conclusion of Saturday’s match. The starting bid for each jersey has been set at $40.
The highest bidder on each jersey will have the opportunity to select the name of their choice to be placed on the back, and each of those jerseys will be worn by the player with that number when the Illini take on Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 20. Due to NCAA compliance regulations, the chosen name may not match the last name of the player wearing the jersey, even if a different first initial is added in front of the last name. Similarly, nicknames of any kind will not be accepted. Jerseys will be laundered after the Ohio State match and subsequently distributed to the winners.
For those who are unable to attend this weekend’s matches, three more limited-edition jerseys will be available for bid online via eBay. The pink version of Beltran’s #3 jersey will be up for auction, along with #2 and #10 in navy. The online auction begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, and continues through Sunday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. Direct links will be published after the start of the auction, but a search for “Illinois volleyball jersey,” should come up with the correct result.
The Illini have hosted an annual Breast Cancer Awareness match every October for the past several seasons. Last year, Illinois raised over $3,000 to support a local cancer organization. The Orange and Blue hope to top that figure this year in contributions to the Mills Breast Cancer Institute.
The Mills Breast Cancer Institute, located at Carle Hospital, was built on a vision of providing expert care close to home. The team includes experts in oncology, breast imaging, reconstructive surgery, genetics, research and support services, giving patients the tools they need in the fight against breast cancer. MBCI is committed to providing patients with comprehensive treatment tailored to their needs, while creating an environment where patients and families can find the support and resources necessary to heal and cope with breast cancer. For more information, visit the MBCI website.
As a new addition this year, fans who would like to support the organization without bidding in the auction are welcome to give donations for the Mills Breast Cancer Institute directly to the Networkers at the auction tables throughout the weekend. Interested fans should make the check payable to “Illini Networkers,” with “MCBI” on the memo line.
When the team hits the court in pink on Oct. 20, fans are encouraged to match. Gameday Spirit will be selling pink Illinois volleyball “Workout a Cure” t-shirts from now through the Ohio State match, with partial proceeds benefiting MBCI. Pick up your shirt at this weekend’s matches or at the Gameday Spirit store locations; the t-shirts will soon be available online through Gameday Spirit as well.
Prior to the Ohio State match, fans eighth grade and below are invited to a pre-match sports clinic. Participants will receive the “Workout a Cure” t-shirt and will learn a variety of sports skills from various Illinois student-athletes. Kids will also have the opportunity to perform on the floor between sets two and three. Pre-registration is required, with a deadline of Monday, Oct. 7. A $10 registration fee includes the t-shirt, clinic and admission to the match. To sign up, fill out the registration form and return it to Carrie Snyder, Director of Sports Marketing, via mail or fax. Check-in is at Noon and the clinic begins at 12:30 p.m.
- 15 jerseys sold via silent auction at Iowa and Nebraska matches on Sept. 27-28
- Three jerseys sold via online eBay auction from Sept. 28-Oct. 6
- Annual pink match, “Workout a Cure” to be held Oct. 20 vs. Ohio State
- Pink volleyball t-shirts are on sale now at Gameday Spirit, to be worn by fans at the Ohio State match
- Proceeds will benefit Mills Breast Cancer Institute
- Donations are accepted
- Illinois athletics will host a youth clinic prior to the Ohio State match. Registration deadline is Oct. 7.