Athletics' Pink Out campaign raises money for breast cancer research

MU Athletics and Health Care are working together to raise funds and awareness.
Sophomore Sandra Ostad composes herself after sticking a landing on the floor at the Hearnes Center on Friday. The Missouri gymnastics volleyball teams have joined the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center to raise money for its cancer research and awareness program.

The Missouri gymnastics squad teamed up with the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center on Friday to raise money for breast cancer research.

This event did not mark first time the Department of Athletics has partnered with MU Health Care to raise awareness and funds for various medical research.

“We partner with the athletic department on a number of events throughout the year,” MU Health Care spokesman Matt Splett said. “There are many different activities from gymnastics, to basketball, to football and then within the hospitals themselves where the athletes, our patients and programs partner up.”

Various events throughout the year include a childhood cancer tailgate in the fall each year to raise funds for cancer research, and the recent Heart of Tiger woman’s basketball game Feb. 5, which raised funds benefiting heart health related research.

“We know that athletics has a high level of attention and a big presence in the community, which can help raise awareness,” Department of Athletics spokesman Chad Moller said. “We take that as an opportunity to eject ourselves into it, and hopefully we can provide a positive impact by getting more people out. The more people that learn about a cause, the more opportunies there are for people to get involved.”

Splett said the connection benefits both groups. He said many athletes come to the hospital and visit the children’s hospital patients to lift their spirits and provide some encouragement.

“I have seen first hand when football players have come into children’s hospitals and visited our patients, and it makes a huge difference with those kids,” Splett said. “Getting to see the athlete that they are accustomed to seeing on TV walk into their hospital room really lifts their spirits and helps with the healing process.”

At the Pink Out gymnastics meet, $1 of each ticket went directly to breast cancer research at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, part of MU Health Care.

“It’s a fun event,” Splett said. “The first 500 fans get a free pink T-shirt featuring the Pink Out logo, and the MU tiger gymnasts themselves wear pink leotards during the event. Also, we honor breast cancer survivors who attend the actual meet. The event raises community awareness for breast cancer, while at the same time supporting the Tigers gymnastics team.”

Freshman Stephanie Kinney said she frequently attends MU gymnastic meets and thinks Pink Out is a good way to raise breast cancer awareness around campus.

“I think this meet will mean a lot,” Kinney said. “A lot of people are affected or know people close to them that are affected by some type of cancer. The fundraiser is meaningful not just to Mizzou, but also to the other team competing.”

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