06/04/2014 11:25 AM -
The month of May in Whiting, Indiana has been a very special one this year. 119th street has radiated the color pink with banners, ribbons and painted storefronts in support of Whiting’s “Paint the Town Pink” initiative to help support Breast Cancer awareness. The Northwest Indiana Oilmen took their turn at helping support the community-wide events by hosting their first “Paint the Game Pink” night at Oil City Stadium.
While the night turned out to be a little cooler than expected, fans filed into the ballpark wearing pink in support. The Oilmen sported custom bright pink jerseys and pink bats as well as sold pink Oilmen T-shirts, baseballs, bats, raffle tickets and more, with the proceeds going to for Breast Cancer research. The game ended in a 2-1 victory for the Oilmen over the Lexington Snipes, but there was a deeper meaning and importance to this game.
This cause hits very closer to home for the Oilmen, as owner Don Popravak’s wife lost both her mother and grandmother to breast cancer. This causes also touches Oilmen Pitcher Anthony Gomez, whose aunt is currently fighting cancer herself.
“It’s such a difficult cause,” Gomez said, “anything to play for a great cause. Try to increase the hope that people get to find a cure or become cured from cancer is amazing.”
One out of every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer and Whiting native and Oilmen fan Tracy Sabol, a breast cancer survivor, has a central message for women and early detection, “Women, get out and get your mammograms.”
The response by the community and the Oilmen on their unified effort for awareness has been fantastic in the eyes of Sabol.
Sabol discussed how serious of a disease Breast Cancer is and saw how sports could be a great avenue for spreading awareness. While the “Paint the Game Pink” ends the month long awareness kick by the Whiting Community, the ongoing support does not stop there.
Sabol said that games like these drive home the message of constant awareness.
“It’s a serious disease that we want to make go away,” Sabol said. It just keeps awareness going.”
While the game itself is a great vehicle for spreading awareness and support for Breast Cancer research; the outcome of events like these still does not cure the disease itself. What can come from games like these is the constant reminder of how close to home this disease can hit, and what one can do now to support research to hopefully end the disease
The Oilmen will continue to sell paint the game pink merchandise, such as balls, jerseys, and bats, throughout the season at every home game