RALEIGH, N.C. --- The Moravian College women's basketball squad has been named as the NCAA Division III winner of the 2019 Kay Yow Cancer Fund Play4Kay fundraiser with $19,480 raised in 2019, the 11th straight year that the Greyhounds' program has led NCAA Division III schools in Play4Kay.
"It is a privilege to be recognized by the Kay Yow Cancer Fund this year," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "My staff and team would like to thank the entire Moravian community for coming together in raising money for such a significant cause. We are fortunate to be able to have the means to raise money because of our loyal alumnus, parents, faculty, staff and fans from Moravian.
"I would also like to personally thank Sara Steinman and the Springfield Athletic Association in New Jersey who have been a huge part of our efforts over the years," Spirk added. "Together our team and the Kay Yow fund hopes to continue to contribute to find a cure for this horrible 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.
"The Play4Kay event signifies being a part of something bigger than yourself," said senior forward Ariana Caiati. "I am proud to have been a part of the Play4Kay event through the Moravian women's basketball team and spread some of the compassion that Coach Ka Yow left behind. She dedicated her life to being an inspiration to women, men, and cancer-survivors around the world. Kay Yow's generosity and strength has left a lasting impact upon the basketball community and now upon myself. I am grateful to have been able to play a small part in this community. Coach Yow's life encourages us to go the extra mile and a step beyond."
This winter, Moravian raised $19,480, the top amount from an NCAA Division III school, to give the program a total of $154,290 donated to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund over the last 11 years. The Greyhounds raised $19,657 a year ago and $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.
"The atmosphere at our pink out game was incredible," noted senior guard/forward Caitlin Flanagan. "It was a surreal experience to see so many survivors in one place, coming together as a family, to support one and other. Moravian Basketball stresses the importance of family and that was truly shown at our Play4Kay event."
To view a list of all the activities that the Greyhounds held as part of their Play4Kay Week, visit https://www.moraviansports.com/sports/wbkb/2018-19/Play4Kay/index.
Moravian's coaching staff along with the coaching staffs from Teas Tech University (NCAA Division I BCS), Illinois State University (NCAA Division I non-BCS), Anderson (S.C.) University (NCAA Division II), Faulkner (Ala.) University (NAIA), Dawson (Mt.) Community College (JC/CC) and Akin (Texas) Elementary School (National 4-12) will be recognized at the 2019 Wow 4Yow Welcome Party at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association National Convention during the NCAA Division I Final Four in Tampa, Florida 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--to lift up and encourage survivors. Due to the amazing support of teams from communities big and small, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has been able to award $7.53 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 2019 national winners and all of our participating schools. Funding from Play4Kay is making a difference and directly impacting the lives of others."
From February 8 to 18, teams from across the country participated in Play4Kay games and made donations to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Moravian is the only 11-time winner in the 11-year history of the contest.
Since the Fund's inception in 2007, more than $7.53 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 December 3, 2007, from the vision of the organization's namesake, Kay Yow, former NC State University head women's basketball coach. Coach Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 before succumbing to the disease on January 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 ALL women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. To date, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has awarded $7.53 million in the fight against ALL women's cancers. For more information on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, or to donate, please visit KayYow.com.