Date: 6/17/2009

Softball Team leads off Fundraising/Awareness for Community Cancer Research Foundation

Members of the Beecher Cure girls’ fast-pitch softball team raising breast cancer awareness are (back row, left to right): Coach Jenna Grimm, Skyler Woods, Katelyn Neubauer, Sam Nissen, Coach Kevin Hayhurst, Kat Henson, Olivia Donely, Jordyn Beck, Coach Jacqueline Grimm, (kneeling, left to right) Jenna Willie, Rebecca Ivers, Kara Couwenhoven, Chelsea Gliva, Kaylee Hull and Emily Ivers.

Members of a small town, girls’ fast-pitch softball team are playing hard on and off the field to make a difference concerning breast cancer research and awareness. Their combined efforts are scoring funds for Community Cancer Research Foundation in Munster.

“We’re playing for a cause,” says Kara Couwenhoven.

“We all know someone who’s been touched by cancer,” states Skyler Woods.

The Beecher Cure, a 16-and-under, girls’ traveling softball team, plays tournaments across the Midwest donning uniforms featuring pink socks and pink breast cancer awareness ribbons. But the girls really got the ball rolling by taking their stance a step further offering t-shirts and other items to their fans and donating the proceeds to the Community Cancer Research Foundation in Munster, specifically for breast cancer research.

White t-shirts with “protect second base” and the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon printed across the front are being sold for $15 each, of which $9.50 is tax deductible and are also available in tank-top style, with $7.50 eligible for a tax deduction. Sam Nissen’s mom Patty sells candles for a company called For Every Home. The company donates the proceeds from the sale of three different breast cancer candles — one for survivors (Surviving Hope); one for living it (Living Hope); and for the loved ones lost, living and/or surviving (Hope for a Cure).

Jumping on the bandwagon, the Chicago Bandits women’s fast-pitch softball team has donated items to be raffled off by the Beecher team on the Fourth of July at a town celebration. The items will be on display at a booth located at Firemen’s Park, 673 Penfield Street in Beecher, Illinois during the festival.

Proceeds from the raffle tickets, t-shirts, tank tops and candles will benefit the Community Cancer Research Foundation in Munster. Work being done by the Research Foundation advances the detection, diagnosis, treatment, education and prevention of cancer. Through the Foundation’s efforts, residents have access to clinical research trials from around the globe, close to home in their own neighborhood.

Community Cancer Research Foundation links patients with research sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and other major research cooperatives worldwide. The three hospitals of Community Healthcare System — Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart - offer patients access to research for prevention and/or treatment for every stage of breast cancer, from Ductal Carcinoma In Situ or DCIS (considered a Stage 0 Breast Cancer) to advanced disease. The Foundation also offers patient access to research for the prevention and/or treatment of lung, prostate, skin and colon cancers, lymphoma, adult leukemia and multiple myeloma.

Raffle tickets for the Chicago Bandits’ items are available for $5. This is also a 50/50 raffle; the winner receives their choice of the Bandits’ items and 50 percent of the pot, with the remaining 50 percent going to Community Cancer Research Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the Beecher 4th of July Festival or from Lisa Couwenhoven at 708-925-6193. Protect Second Base t-shirts are also available in various sizes from Couwenhoven at the same telephone number. For the Breast Cancer imprinted candles, please call Patty Nissen at 708-946-6904.

For more information about the Community Cancer Research Foundation, visit online at