Bucs Pride events to benefit Bluebird Cancer Retreats

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Friday marks Grand Haven's Bucs Pride purple game, which will raise money for the Bluebird Camps and Retreats, a local organization that provides support for adults dealing with cancer.

Buccaneers' players will be wearing special purple jerseys in memory or in honor of family members, friends and others affected by cancer.

The jerseys are sponsored by fans and other donors.

"Our ultimate goal is to have the people of Grand Haven embrace our mission of inspiring the community to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones and passionately give back, said Marcie Lynch, a member of the Bucs Pride committee. "Not only will we support this idea at the football game, but at all Bucs Pride events, like this week's purple girls' volleyball game, purple boys varsity soccer game, and more events throughout the year."

The Buccaneers' volleyball team will wear purple during its home quad meet, which begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday; and the soccer team will host its Bucs Pride game against No. 1-ranked East Kentwood on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Those attending the volleyball, soccer and football games are encouraged to wear purple in a show of support for the Bucs and for the event. Donations will be accepted at all events, with money collected going toward cancer research and to help families in this area who are in need.

Lynch said last year's events raised $12,000.

"The purpose (of the purple game) is to support local families dealing with cancer, by wearing our purple shirts to let them know people care about them, raising funds to help offset some of the added expenses cancer brings, and also to help involve the young people of the community to be aware of people battling cancer," Lynch said.

Prior to kickoff of Friday's football game, cancer survivors and cancer thrivers are invited to participate in a cancer walk on the high school track. Refreshments for those involved in the walk will be provided.

Buccaneers' varsity football coach Mike Farley said he and his players are thrilled to be a part of the Bucs Pride game.

"It's a big honor for us to be able to represent cancer survivors, people who have passed away due to cancer, and to be able to support and recognize those people," Farley said. "Cancer has touched so many lives. It's amazing to know how many people have a relative, a friend, touched by cancer. It's great just being able to salute those people."

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