(Posted October 15, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College's women's volleyball team will participate in a nationwide breast cancer awareness fundraising effort by hosting a "Dig Pink" match at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, in the Kennedy Sports Center against Carnegie Mellon University.

Rick Dunetz, the founder and chairman of the Side-Out Foundation from Washington, DC, will speak just before the match on Friday to support the "Dig Pink" efforts.

There will be no admission charge for the match, but fans are encouraged to make a donation. All proceeds raised during the evening will go to the Side-Out Foundation, which raises money for breast cancer research through volleyball-related activities.

The Eagles will wear special pink jerseys for their match against the Tartans, as part of "Dig Pink Night" on the first night of Juniata's Wid Guisler Invitational tournament.

Dunetz, who also serves as head volleyball coach at Annandale High School in Virginia, was told during the beginning of his coaching career that his mother, Gloria Dunetz, was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer, the most advanced and serious stage of the disease.

"After that season, I realized that there was something to the idea that a match can inspire somebody," says Dunetz. He began the Side-Out Foundation, an organization that raises money for the battle against breast cancer through volleyball-related events and matches.

In 2009, the Side-Out Foundation co-sponsored volleyball events with 797 teams nationwide, including the Juniata College women's volleyball team.

Fans are asked to wear pink apparel to Friday night's game. Special "Dig Pink" T-shirts will be on sale for $5 throughout the week prior to the match. The T-shirts will also be available for purchase during the event.

In conjunction with the game, there will be several fundraising and awareness activities. A 50/50 raffle, "Chinese Auction," and concession stand also will be open throughout the game. Informational tables for breast cancer education will be located on the mezzanine.

The event is being organized by members of the Juniata College women's volleyball team, led by sophomore setter Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills), senior libero Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), senior defensive specialist Molly Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), and freshman outside hitter Kelsey Fuller (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion).

The Juniata College women's volleyball team has been directly impacted by cancer in recent years. Fuller's mother is a recent survivor of breast cancer. Former outside hitter Erin Dodson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area), who would have graduated two years ago, was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer during her freshman season. Dodson remains a close part of the team, visiting the gym on occasion.

Support for the event was provided by the Asics shoe company, which donated the pink jerseys. Additionally, donations from D.C. Goodman & Sons, Colleges Against Cancer, and local businesses helped cover costs associated with the event.

For more information about Juniata's "Dig Pink" event, please contact Molly Sollenberger at sollema06@juniata.edu or 717-645-3720 for more information


Our readers respond...

Be the first to provide a response.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.