Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Sacred Heart Prep (SHP) girls' volleyball program served up another tremendous showing with its annual “Pink-Out” serve-a-thon fundraising event at McGanney Sports Center on October 3. In all, the three SHP squads hit more than 4,200 serves in a total of 15 minutes, raising over $22,000 for the Bay Area Cancer Support Community, a local organization dedicated to aiding cancer patients and their families in both the mental and physical.
The SHP Pink-Out Night is now in its second year of operations, founded and organized by senior volleyball players Jillian Amaro (SHP’24) and Naomi Watson (SHP ‘24).
“Naomi and I were so excited to continue the Pink-Out tradition; we have both seen firsthand the painful impact of cancer on our families,” Amaro said. “In November 2022, I lost my second grandmother to cancer, so I wanted to make it even more impactful this year. We got the students and faculty involved early in the process and that resulted in us exceeding last year's goal not only in total money raised but also in the number of serves. For the second year, we continued to partner with the Bay Area Cancer Support Community, a local organization that provides '100% free care - including counseling, nutrition, and education for cancer patients and their caregivers.' It was important to the program that the dollars raised stayed in our local community. One in eight women in the United States will get breast cancer, and local services are critically important."
“The entire volleyball program really embraced the fundraising for the serve-a-thon, and we were so proud that we had 100% participation across the entire program,” said Watson. “It was so great to see all the energy in the room for the serve-a-thon; we were covered in pink with great music playing! The event started with program-wide bonding across Freshman, JV, and Varsity, and then moved into the 15-minute serve-a-thon where the teams completed more than 4,200 serves. It was especially great to see the energy from the freshmen who are new to the program tradition. They really embraced the event and I’m excited to pass this program along to future Gators.”
SHP Girls Athletic Director Dawn Hemm also shared her enthusiasm, acknowledging the immense effort demonstrated by the student-athletes: "For the second year in a row, Jillian and Naomi have taken the lead in the annual 'Pink Out' for @CancersupportSF. We are thankful for the support from the entire volleyball program, but especially grateful to these two young women who have made a powerful impact in this community."
Patricia Falconer, Vice President of Cancer Support Community, Board of Directors, attended the event and gratefully accepted the ceremonial check on behalf of the organization.
“According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, an estimated 297,790 women and 2,800 men will be diagnosed in the U.S. with breast cancer this year," she shared. "Cancer patients, family members, and caregivers need holistic support. Special shout out THANK YOU to Jillian and Naomi for being such inspirational leaders. Thank you, SHP administrators, coaches, volleyball players, parents, alumni, family, and friends for helping kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month - and showing us the Power of Pink!"
Though Amaro and Watson are outgoing seniors this year, they are thrilled that fellow teammate and sophomore Anabelle Yujuico (SHP’26) has stepped up to continue the tradition. Said Yujuico, “I’m so honored to be able to continue this program begun by Jillian and Naomi. I hope it expands into an SHP Volleyball alumni event where prior players return and re-unite annually with the program for such an amazing cause.”