By Rob Wheary, Staff Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
HEGINS – For many years, Connie Reed has been a fan of the Tri-Valley Soccer Program, watching the game for several years.
The girls playing for the Tri-Valley squad this year are fans of Connie for the tremendous struggle she went through this year, battling breast cancer.
In honor of Connie and others fighting the disease, The Tri-Valley Girls Soccer team held their first pink night this season, coming together to raise funds to help those fighting the disease.
Through their fundraising through t-shirt sales, car washes, and basket raffles, the team and boosters helped to raise funds to help those battling the dreaded disease.
“They would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way by donating or coming out to support their efforts. Thank you to all of the support from the community. The team was able to donate funds to three local individuals with cancer to help them with medical expenses,” said booster representative Jess Henninger.
For Reed, her fight against cancer began last October when she notices a lump in her breast during a self-examination. She was diagnosed on Nov. 19, 2015 with breast cancer.
“In January, they got the rest of the lump out and began the chemotherapy, but I needed to undergo a double mastectomy, which I did in August. I’m proud to say now I’m cancer free,” Reed said.
While she still must go through infusion therapy for a few more months, Reed was able to return to her job at the Tri-Valley School District as a driver and found the outpouring from the students and the community during her illness amazing.
“When I started, I must have gotten about 100 cards from people. Some would bring meals when we didn’t have time to make it ourselves,” she said. “I must have gotten about 25 jigsaw puzzles. One lady even dropped it off when she was coming up from Alabama.”
According to Haley Stehr, a senior defensive player on the Tri-Valley squad, their fight against cancer started when hearing the story of Eric Erdman, a Millersburg student fighting cancer.
“We wanted to do something for him so we organized a car wash and the donations just poured in,” she said. “We raised $850 at that car wash.”
From there, the team sold pink t-shirts, organized a basket raffle, and raised the funds that were given to Erdman, Reed and another recipient. For the team, they felt a bit of good karma after doing good themselves.
“We became the first team from Tri-Valley to ever play in the Schuylkill League playoffs. That is a big accomplishment for us and doing this good certainly helped,” Stehr said.
In receiving the team’s gift, Reed took the time to hug every player during a recent team practice.
“This was a complete surprise, and I am so grateful for all their hard work and the community’s support for me,” Reed said.