CNU WLax Ovarian Cancer Awareness Game

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Christopher Newport women's lacrosse team hosted Randolph-Macon on April 17th for the first annual Debbie Cale Classic. The game was named in honor of the mother of CNU field hockey alumnae Kylie Cale, who lost her two-year battle with ovarian cancer in October 2011. The game was being held in order to raise awareness, raise money, and promote education.

Debbie Cale, affectionately referred to as "Mama Cale", embraced the role of team mom and with her husband Kevin was instrumental in the development of the field hockey program. Mama Cale had a passion for the sport, a genuine concern for others, a sense of humor, a big heart and the ability to make each member of the program feel special. Not only was she an important part of the field hockey family, she was an important part of the CNU family.

Although Mama Cale endured two years of chemo at the tail end of Kylie's field hockey career, she showed up no matter how bad she was feeling. "Her and my dad never missed one field hockey game in my four years at CNU. I can't say it enough," proclaims Kylie, "I have been so blessed with the people in my life, especially my parents. My mother loved her family and would do anything to make them happy. She is the epitome of what a mom should be and who I hope to be one day."

Living in Chester, Virginia, the Cale family involved themselves with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) chapter in Richmond. Kevin, Kylie and her older sister Lindsay have been working closely with the chapter at health fairs and other events to represent the extraordinary women and all those affected by ovarian cancer. From this relationship stemmed the idea of fundraising in Debbie's name.

Each season, the women's lacrosse team runs a goal-a-thon, a season long fundraising endeavor that allows people to make either a flat donations or pledge per goal the team accumulates throughout the season. This year, the team will be donating 10% of monies raised through the goal-a-thon to the NOCC in memory of Debbie Cale.

Jessica Weiss, assistant women's lacrosse and field hockey coach at CNU, had the opportunity to establish a great relationship with the Cale family. "Being able to share the story and inspiration of Mama Cale warms my heart. She was a beautiful woman full of such love, kindness and joy." Weiss continues, "It is difficult to look at the stands and know something is missing. Her and Kevin had a tremendous impact on the dynamics of this program. I know I've been changed by her positive outlook on life."

The women's lacrosse team partnered with Sigma Alpha Omega Sorority and the CNU Field Hockey team for the event. Printing Wright screen-printed teal t-shirts donated by Russell Athletic with the 2012 women's lacrosse team slogan, Family. SAO sold t-shirts bearing the tag line "You Wouldn't be Here Without Them" and there was a 50/50 raffle. Adrenaline Movement socks with teal ribbons, customized specifically for this cause, continue to be sold. All the proceeds from these sales will be donated to the NOCC in Debbie Cale's name. The NOCC and HERA Foundation provided giveaways and materials about their organizations and ovarian cancer.


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