RALEIGH, N.C. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team has been named as the NCAA Division III winner of the 2018 Kay Yow Cancer Fund Play4Kay fundraiser with over $19,600 raised in 2018, the 10th consecutive year that the Greyhounds' program has led NCAA Division III schools in Play4Kay.
"It is a honor to receive the Division III Play4Kay award," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "The women's basketball team, players and coaches, take pride in bringing together our community for the week of Play4Kay. Our alumni, friends, family, Bethlehem and the entire Moravian community unite to help raise awareness and money to help find a cure for cancer. Amy Endler and Danielle Brogan, my two assistants and former players, were instrumental in organizing our efforts this year. Special thanks to Sara Steinman and the Springfield Basketball Association for helping us achieve success in our fundraising work. While we continue to work to find a cure, it is comforting to know that so many people are helping to fight this terrible disease."
Play4Kay is the grassroots fundraising initiative of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Its primary fundraising support comes from women's basketball teams across the country that dedicate an event to raise funds and awareness for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, an organization committed to funding women's cancer research and supporting projects that assist the underserved community.
"Play4Kay has held a special place in my heart over the past four years," senior guard Taylor Freeman said. "My grandma is a survivor of breast cancer and I am grateful every day to have her in my life. Standing next to my grandma on the court before the beginning of the game, and seeing her in the crowded stands on this incredible day has always been something I looked forward to."
This winter, Moravian raised $19,657, the top amount from an NCAA Division III school, to give the program a total of $134,810 donated to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund over the last 10 years. The Greyhounds raised $21,662 in 2017, and the most raised by the Hounds in a single year. Moravian was also the top NCAA Division III team in 2016 with 18,520, in 2015 with $17,038, in 2014 with $12,573, in 2013 with $16,210, in 2012 with $12,025, in 2011 with $5,825, in 2010 at $6,100 and a first-year total of $5,200 in 2009.
"On the day of the Play4Kay game, I wake up like a little kid on Christmas morning," commented senior forward Jen Cella. "Over the past four years, I have been able to witness the whole community come together as one to raise awareness for breast cancer. Being able to celebrate people that have lost to the battle, currently fighting, and who have won the battle has opened my eyes to remember what is important in life. Moravian College takes such pride in this event and it has become so successful because of the effort that my coaches as well as others in the community put into it. This day makes me feel proud to be able to call myself a Greyhound."
To view a list of all the activities that the Greyhounds held as part of their Play4Kay Week, visit http://moraviansports.com/sports/wbkb/2017-18/Play4Kay/index.
Moravian's coaching staff along with the coaching staffs from North Carolina State (NCAA Division I BCS), Illinois State University (NCAA Division I non-BCS), Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University (NCAA Division II), Faulkner (Ala.) University (NAIA), Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College (JC/CC) and Akin (Texas) Elementary School (National 4-12) will be recognized at the 2018 Wow 4Yow Welcome Party at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association National Convention during the NCAA Division I Final Four in Columbus, Ohio Friday evening as well as the WBCA FOCUS Sunday and Awards Ceremony.
"Play4Kay was Coach Kay Yow's vision. She saw this initiative as a way to unite the country in support of all women battling cancer. She wanted to use her platform to give strength to others. Due to the amazing support of teams from communities big and small, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has been able to award $5.63 million on behalf of women's basketball in the fight against all women's cancers," said Stephanie Glance, CEO of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. "We are so appreciative of the ongoing support from our 2018 national winners and all of our participating schools. Funding from Play4Kay is making a difference and directly impacting the lives of others."
From February 10 to 20, teams from across the country participated in Play4Kay games and made donations to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Moravian is the only 10-time winner in the nine-year history of the contest.
Since the Fund's inception in 2007, more than $5.38 million has been allocated in support of women's cancer research and related projects.
For more information about the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and its annual Play 4Kay® initiative, visit www.kayyow.com and follow #Play4Kay and #KayYow.
About the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and Play4Kay Campaign
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded on Dec. 3, 2007, from the vision of the organization's namesake Kay Yow, former N.C. State University head women's basketball coach. Coach Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 before succumbing to the disease on Jan. 24, 2009. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising funds for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. To date, more than $5.63 million has been allocated for women's cancer research. For more information on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund or to make a donation, please visit www.kayyow.com.