Pink-Out Day

School gears up to ‘pink-out’ Poplar Bluff
Posted on 09/23/2013

What began as a school-wide fundraiser was declared an official Poplar Bluff holiday last year, when $14,000 was generated for the United Cancer Assistance Network.

The annual Pink-Out Day is slated to take place during the Varsity Football game at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Morrow Stadium, following a tailgating party in the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce parking lot.

Poplar Bluff R-I students, employees, Mules fans and businesses will “pink-out” the town that day with T-shirts purchased for the UCAN fundraiser, which Mayor Ed DeGaris issued a proclamation for in 2012.

“The students playing a central role in all this is the best part, because it’s teaching philanthropy—the importance of raising money for charity,” said Melody Melloy, UCAN executive director. “Of all the fundraisers the kids participate in, they will remember with overwhelming pride the huge accomplishment it takes to pull off something that touches this many lives.”

UCAN provides monetary support for area cancer patients on a case-by-case basis. With the help of major fundraisers such as Pink-Out Day, UCAN was able to expand its outreach from Butler County to include Wayne County in recent months, according to Melloy.

The school partnered with the nonprofit organization four years ago, when Poplar Bluff Junior High School science teacher Jennifer Nicolini simply decided to order some T-shirts for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, with the proceeds going to UCAN. Her colleagues supported the cause, and as a result the faculty was able to make a $400 donation.

“At the time I had lost my Grandpa (Jimmy Jenkins) to cancer, Sarah Jarboe White (a 5th & 6th Grade Center teacher who eventually lost the battle with the diabolical disease) was going through it, and a dear friend’s older sister—now cured—had been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Nicolini explained. “As we get older we run into this more and more, and I just refuse to sit back and not do anything.”

During the 2011/12 school year, Nicolini decided to send an email to the entire R-I staff, asking if employees outside of her school building wished to participate. Simultaneously, Poplar Bluff Senior High math teacher Hope Conover, the Student Council advisor, established the Pink-Out game under the direction of then student body president Brooke Kirby. Collectively, several thousand dollars was raised for UCAN from the schools’ efforts.

“For me personally, I want to make sure that my Student Council kids understand the importance of giving back to the community,” Conover stated. “I believe very strongly in the sense of community and that we all need to help each other in this world.”

Last school year, the teachers combined forces, soliciting help from StuCo and cheerleaders, while Melloy enlisted businesses to pink-out their staffs. EA Screenprinting, where Nicolini’s son Alex serves as manager, supplied the T-shirts.

For those who have not placed an order for a pink T-shirt yet, the UCAN office on Maud Street still has a limited amount available, and EA plans to have some on hand during the tailgate, a new component of the event this year.

Sponsored by Bootheel Parts & Equipment Rentals, Adkins Chiropractic and EA Screenprinting, the tailgating party kicks off at 4 p.m. and will feature free hotdogs, chips and drinks, along with games such as high striker and football toss, plus additional entertainment provided by the Mule Barn.

Marble Slab Creamery will give away pink ribbon clappers for free to the first 200 fans who walk through the gate at the game against Sikeston. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

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Cutline: All the PBJHS students who dressed up in honor of Pink-Out Day last year gathered in the gymnasium to create a sea of pink effect throughout the bleachers.

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