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Fall 2009

Teaming up for Fight Cancer


On Friday, October 30th, Ashland Health Center in Ashland, KS will be teaming up with Comanche County Hospital in Coldwater, KS to host a charity women’s basketball game. Each team will consist of six local girls and eight “celebrity players”. Tickets will be pre-sold all over the area. Because the game will be in Ashland, their fans will purchase special pink t-shirts to wear in the stands while Coldwater will wear white with pink. 90% of the proceeds, including ticket sales, apparel, concessions, raffles, contests, sponsorships, etc. will go to the WEPAC Alliance, a local non-profit organization supported by foundations in both hospital counties that pays for cancer-preventative care, such as digital mammograms for women in Wilmore, Englewood, Protection, Ashland, and Coldwater. The other 10% will go to the Kay Yow Fund. The game is expected to raise over $100,000.

Jackie Stiles from Missouri State, Cynthia Cooper from USC, Shalee Lehning, Marlies Gipson, and Kayla Herd from K-State, Katie Smith, Rebecca Feickert and Ivana Catic from KU, Tasha Trundle from Mizzou, Ruth Riley from Notre Dame, Molly Carter from Drury University, Marcy Sudbeck and Daria Frazier from Wichita State, and Brooke Schwartz and Shahidrah Roberts-Cowgill from the University of Nebraska are some of the players who have agreed to come. Many of these players have WNBA experience. The K-State and KU cheerleaders have agreed to come and cheer at the event. They will team up to host a cheer clinic the next morning to benefit the cause. K-State is also sending a 45-piece pep band to play at the game. Mechelle Voepel, a women’s basketball writer from ESPN.COM has agreed to blog about the story. Brenda Vanlengen and Patti Phillips, two nationally recognized women’s basketball analysts have agreed to volunteer their time to cover the game as well.

Individuals from the K-State Athletic Department have agreed to help design the game program for us, modeling it after their football programs. Old Hat Creative, the web design company responsible for the K-State, KU, and OU athletic websites has agreed to donate the website for the game. Any advertising sold will go into that 40+ page program and on that website.

Fox Sports Midwest has agreed to televise the event live across Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. There are 1,000 seats in the gym and all of them have been sold. The game will be broadcasted live on a portable jumbo-tron on the Ashland High School football field. There will be no cost to watch it there.

The following morning, October 31st, Ashland Health Center will host a forum for approximately 1,500 people to discuss the role of preventative care in health care reform. We are inviting several nationally known health care figures to speak. Tom Bell, President of the Kansas Hospital Association has agreed to introduce each of the speakers. Both events will be publicized all over Kansas and Oklahoma and the forum is open to anyone and everyone to help educate our health care professionals and citizens on the impact of preventative health care. The weekend will celebrate the women in our communities and show our commitment to their health and well being.

The state hospital associations will help market both the game and the forum to every hospital in those four states. Administrators will receive a personal invitation to the forum and be encouraged to support rural health by getting their communities to watch the game on television.

This event was inspired dually by the life and death of Coach Kay Yow and what the Nike Foundation calls “The Girl Effect.” When Nike goes into third-world countries and invests in the education, health and well being of adolescent girls there, communities are transformed where they are taught to engage in their societies and are valued for more than simply birthing children.

Although western Kansas is certainly no third-world country, we believe the same concept to be true. When we invest in the health, well being, and education of the women in our communities, our culture changes because women in the United States make 80% of the health care decisions for their families. When we teach the importance of good health and preventative testing, they pass that knowledge on to their loved ones and everyone benefits. To learn more about the weekend events, visit


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