ATLANTA (September 20, 2011) - The Kay Yow Cancer Fund announced the results from the 2011 WBCA Pink Zone® initiative. To date, more than 1,300 teams and individuals have supported the Kay Yow Cancer Fund through their participation in the 2011 breast cancer awareness campaign, which was held Feb. 11-20.
Donations raised through the initiative for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund® thus far total more than $650,000.
"I am once again overwhelmed at the support of the women's basketball community and other members of the sports community at large as their unified efforts helped to raise another $650,000 this past season in the fight against women's cancers," said Marsha Sharp, Kay Yow Cancer Fund Executive Director. "Through their efforts, we continue to uphold Coach Yow's legacy and help to further research that can one day lead to a cure."
In order to keep the story and the legacy of the late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State head women's basketball coach, at the forefront of everything the Kay Yow Cancer Fund commits itself to, the WBCA Pink Zone initiative is being rebranded as Play 4Kay® for February 2012.
The mission of the initiative, which was brought to life in 2007, will remain intact: a nation of coaches assisting in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund will remain the official charity of the initiative.
Coach Yow's third recurrence of breast cancer in 2006 was the catalyst for the launch of the WBCA Pink Zone. Before her passing on January 24, 2009, Yow, along with her teammates the WBCA and The V Foundation, achieved the feat of uniting thousands in the fight against women's cancers. Since then the movement continues to grow and change lives each and every year during the month of February.
"By rebranding the WBCA Pink Zone into Play 4Kay, I think that every member of Kay's Team can quickly and easily explain why we do what we do," said Nora Lynn Finch, Kay Yow Cancer Fund board member. "Play 4Kay will tell Coach Yow's story and will impact everyone's effort to support the fight against cancer. All of us - coaches, athletes, donors, friends, admirers, fans and those touched by cancer directly or indirectly - will simply be on Kay's Team, playing for the legendary coach who inspired, encouraged, and taught us to serve others. Let's Play 4Kay!"
Supporting organizations of the 2011 initiative included: the NCAA®, National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA), National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), NCAA conference offices, and many more.
WBCA supporters and sponsors also got involved in the initiative, including Nike (Kay Yow line), girls got game, RUSSELL ATHLETIC (official apparel provider) and Wilson (official basketball). Each donated a portion of any proceeds to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Hundreds of WBCA Pink Zone women's basketball games across the nation were broadcast via television or internet stream. ESPN continued its ongoing support of the initiative by dedicating its annual "February Frenzy" women's college basketball games on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com to supporting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
CBS College Sports Network, Fox Sports and the Big Ten Network also joined the cause by promoting the WBCA Pink Zone nationwide efforts and encouraging donations to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund during televised WBCA Pink Zone games.
The Play 4Kay 2012 dates will be Feb. 10-20.
Play 4Kay® History:
Play 4Kay®, formerly known as the WBCA Pink Zone®, began in 2007 as an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities. The late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, served as the catalyst for the initiative after her third recurrence of breast cancer in 2006.
In 2007, more than 120 schools unified for this effort and helped make the inaugural year a success. In 2008, more than 1,200 teams and organizations participated, reaching more than 830,000 fans and raising more than $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. The 2009 campaign raised more than $1.3 million, reached more than 912,000 fans, unified more than 1,600 participating teams and organizations, and saw 56+ schools break attendance records at their event. In 2010, more than 1,800 participants came together to surpass $1,045,000 in donations and reached more than 922,000 fans across the nation. Over 22 schools broke attendance records through their participation. The 2011 efforts raised more than $650,000 specifically for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund thanks to the efforts of over 1,300 participants.
Overall, the WBCA Pink Zone has raised nearly $4 Million and has unified more than 6,000 participants in only five years.
About the Kay Yow Cancer Fund:
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund®, in partnership with the WBCA and The V Foundation, is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause. Donations can be made at www.KayYow.com. All donations are tax deductible. For more information, visit www.KayYow.com.
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For additional information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.