Bucs Pride games kick off Thursday

(Tribune file photo) Grand Haven’s sports teams will wear purple jerseys as they play Bucs Pride games in the coming weeks. Prior to the varsity football game on Sept. 20 at Buccaneer Stadium, community members can participate in a lap around the track at 6 p.m.

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — As the fall sports season gets into swing, Grand Haven High School players will also be playing with a purpose.

Starting with varsity volleyball on Thursday, traditional Grand Haven jerseys will take a brief break as volleyball, football, water polo, swimming and diving teams all host Bucs Pride games in the coming weeks.

Bucs Pride contests have grown from just football to include soccer and more sports in the past nine years, said Sharon Yonker, a Bucs Pride committee member.

Game attendees are encouraged to wear purple, the universal color for fighting cancer.

Bucs Pride will also have a special “trash cancer” can at all of the games. The can is part of ArtWalk 2019. Instead of pitching your trash into the bin, game attendees will place donations for the organization’s Community Cares baskets.

Bucs Pride has delivered more than 350 Community Cares baskets to people fighting cancer. The baskets include items and resources cancer patients may find helpful.

Donations sought include decks of cards, packages of blank notecards, soft socks, Tums and Chapstick.

“If we can help make their life better while they’re going through treatment, that’s what we want to do,” Yonker said.

Bucs Pride will also sell their shirts for $10 at each of the games.

Bucs Pride games this fall include varsity volleyball on Sept. 12, football on Sept. 20, freshmen volleyball on Sept. 23, soccer on Sept. 24, water polo on Sept. 25, swimming and diving on Sept. 26, and junior varsity volleyball on Oct. 7. 

When the varsity football team hosts Grandville on Sept. 20 at Buccaneer Stadium, cancer survivors, individuals fighting cancer and people wanting to honor someone they lost to cancer can join together for a lap around the track. Anyone interested in participating should meet at the stadium’s community room at 6 p.m.

Cancer survivors and individuals fighting the disease receive free entry to that night’s game, but their families need to purchase tickets, Yonker noted.

In addition to Community Cares baskets, Bucs Pride also partners with Bluebird Cancer Retreats and loans lift chairs to people receiving treatments for cancer.

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