In another terrific example that there is more to sports than just wins and losses, both the Charleston baseball and softball teams held events to help raise money for cancer awareness on Saturday evening.
Coaches and players on the baseball team shaved their heads after their game to benefit childhood cancer research, while the softball team held “Strikeout Cancer Day” in honor of senior Kelsey Hodgson’s father, Allen.
Allen Hodgson has been courageously battling brain cancer for four years and threw the ceremonial first pitch to Kelsey. The Cougars wore special-edition gray jerseys- the color for brain cancer awareness- for the occasion and auctioned the jerseys afterwards to raise money for the cause. Supporters also made “K Pledges,” pledging dollar amounts for each strikeout during the double-header against Drexel.
Fittingly, Kelsey completed the emotional day by going 4-5 at the plate with two doubles and two RBIs.
The Vs. Cancer Foundation sponsors “Go Bald for Cancer” head shaving events, where players and coaches shave their heads while family and friends can donate to the cause. Half of all proceeds raised from the head-shaving event goes to a local childhood cancer hospital and the remaining monies will be donated to national cancer research.
This is the third consecutive year that the baseball team has taken part in the event, something that head coach Monte Lee knows is a important part of their program.
“It’s a great thing for our guys to be apart of, to show them there is more to being a student-athlete that just playing baseball and going to school. It is something to give back to the community for them to feel good about and something they can spread the good word about. It’s a good experience for us to be apart of and I’m happy to do it,” Lee said.
Lee did not hesitate to contribute to the cause, sitting in the first barber chair to have his head shaved and writing a check of his own.
“I think things like this bring your ball club together. It develops chemistry and it’s a team bonding experience that is bigger than baseball,” Lee said.
Senior pitcher Blake Ross believes this event gives the team a good perspective on what is truly important in life.
“You kind of realize that you can’t take everything for granted. And us doing this, it opens up our eyes and that we are blessed with what we have, so we try to give back with this Vs. Cancer event,” Ross said.
Senior outfielder Brandon Murray says that continuing to sponsor this event shows that his team is about more than just baseball.
“Life is about a lot more things than just what we do on this field. For our team to go out and do something like this, it is important to us to show that this program and our school is about a lot more than just sports. This program is founded on guys doing the right thing,” Murray said.
And as for Coach Lee’s new cut?
“I think I might need to get it tightened up a bit, but I feel a little lighter on my toes with a good trim,” he joked.
The College of Charleston community can donate to the good cause at cofc.vs-cancer.org.