Women's Volleyball
Illini Networkers' Breast Cancer Fundraiser Hits New Heights

The Illini will wear pink jerseys to Sunday's match against Ohio State.
The Illini will wear pink jerseys to Sunday's match against Ohio State.

Oct. 16, 2013

Champaign, Ill. – In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Illini Networkers, Illinois volleyball’s devoted support group, once again hosted a set of jersey auctions which helped lead to nearly $5,000 in contributions for Mills Breast Cancer Institute in Urbana. The bulk of the money raised came from the Networkers’ annual pink jersey silent auction on Sept. 27-28, where fans had the opportunity to bid on special-edition jerseys that will be worn in Sunday’s match against Ohio State on Oct. 20. The highest bidders were given the opportunity to have the name of their choice printed on the back of their jersey, many of whom chose to honor a loved one who struggled with cancer.

Three ancillary jerseys were auctioned off online to give fans from far and wide the opportunity to participate, while supplemental donations amounting to over $600 were also collected. In total, $4,765.97 was generously contributed (price of jerseys not yet factored in), with additional chances to give still to come.

When the Illini wear pink on the court on Sunday, fans are encouraged to wear pink as well to show their support for those who have suffered from or lost loved ones to breast cancer. Special pink Illinois Volleyball “Workout a Cure” t-shirts are on sale now at Gameday Spirit stores and will be sold at this weekend’s matches, with partial proceeds going to MBCI. Additional donations for the organization are welcomed and can be given to the Illini Networkers at their table on the North end of the gym.

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.

Last season, the auction brought in a total of $4,253.50 (before expenses), so the Illini are pleased to have topped that figure this year, with further contributions still on their way.

This year’s match is entitled “Workout a Cure” because prior to the competition, fans eighth grade and below are invited to a pre-match sports clinic at the Armory. Participants will receive the “Workout a Cure” t-shirt and will learn a variety of sports skills from various Illinois student-athletes. The kids will also have the opportunity to perform on the floor between sets two and three. Pre-registration is required, the deadline for which has passed. For those who registered, check-in is at Noon and the clinic begins at 12:30 p.m.

In addition to wearing pink on Sunday, fans have an additional chance to dress up this weekend, as Friday night is Costume and Mascot Night. When the Illini take on Penn State, fans are encouraged to debut their Halloween costumes and will have the opportunity to interact with mascots from local businesses and teams. The match will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network, so a great costume could land you an appearance on national TV!

Since the Illini football team is also home this weekend, Sunday’s match will once again be a Football Ticket Stub Redemption match, allowing fans complimentary entry with their ticket stubs from the Wisconsin game (provided the match does not sell out). For more information about the upcoming promotional events, contact Carrie Snyder, Director of Sports Marketing at snyderc@illinois.edu.