If you have been around Wilton athletic fields this month, you may have noticed youth and Wilton High School athletes across numerous sports showing support for breast cancer awareness by wearing various articles of pink as part of their uniforms.
Breast cancer is the second leading cancer in women. One in every eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. The need for more research and more support is as great as ever.
As a volunteer-led, not-for-profit organization dedicated to positive contributions to the community, Wilton Soccer Association (WSA) is one of many Wilton groups that banded together to raise awareness and funds for this important cause in October.
WSA families each made a generous contribution in exchange for pink socks to be worn by their players for their soccer games throughout the month of October. As it turns out, the combination of Wilton blue and white plus pink is a powerful one.
WSA efforts were coordinated by dedicated WSA and community volunteers and parents, Jessica Cooney and Millie Bezanson. “We simply wanted to do something that could help, even just a little bit,” Cooney said.
“We were grateful that the WSA volunteer Board of Directors and the players’ families were so ready and willing to support,” Bezanson added.
In addition, a collaborative effort among the WSA and the WHS Soccer Boosters also bolstered the effort. The groups co-hosted two “Youth Days” at WHS varsity soccer games, inviting the WSA youth to watch a game, participate in a “halftime run” and enjoy ice cream treats provided by College Creamery, a Wilton-based ice cream truck business owned and operated by two WHS student soccer players, Reagan VonLoeser (Class of 2023, varsity girls goalkeeper) and Addison VonLoeser (Class of 2025, junior varsity girls goalkeeper) who generously agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from their ice cream sales at the Youth Day games to the cause.
The funds raised from WSA’s pink socks effort and College Creamery’s ice cream sales will be donated to Pink Aid, a local, breast cancer-focused nonprofit.
Pink Aid’s tagline, “compassion until there is a cure” describes its mission to provide support and rapid emergency financial assistance to breast cancer patients in treatment for both the patients themselves and their families during a critical time in their journeys.
“We are so grateful to the Wilton Soccer Association and the Wilton community for the support of Pink Aid. Every bit of awareness for our mission is incredibly valuable. All contributions are immediately impactful to our patients and families,” Debbie Katz, current Pink Aid Co-President, said, adding, “Coincidentally for Wilton, we refer to our network of patients and caregivers as our ‘Warrior network’ who are dealing with and helping others to deal with the difficulties presented by breast cancer. To see grass roots efforts like this develop organically is inspiring and makes us even more optimistic about what is possible if we keep up the fight together.”
Jason Partenza, WSA volunteer president, said that community action and philanthropy was an important element for the group to reinforce with all of the member families.
“While organizing and playing soccer programs is really fun and at the core of what WSA’s dedicated volunteer team does each season, seeing the Wilton Soccer and broader Wilton community rally in support of a cause as important as breast cancer awareness is really amazing and so rewarding for all.”
To learn more about Pink Aid and how to support local breast cancer patients and their families through the organization, visit the Pink Aid website.