By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
An exemplary effort that has raised more than $200,000 for cancer research and awareness will continue tonight at Walled Lake Western when the Warriors take on Waterford Mott in its annual “Warriors for Warriors” game.
This is the fourth season Western has hosted the event, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer and the American Cancer Society. Fans will be wearing pink shirts designed for the event, with more than 1,000 sold as of two weeks ago.
Last fall, “Warriors for Warriors” was recognized by the NFL and featured in a 30-second commercial shown during NFL football games, and the team was hosted and honored by the Detroit Lions (see below).
“We continue to be grateful for the selfless dedication of parents, staff members, community members and all of the countless volunteers who support the fourth annual Pink Out effort,” Walled Lake superintendent Kenneth Gutman said. “Breast cancer and all cancers continue to challenge thousands of people, and we will continue to work together to eradicate it.”
A “Warriors’ Survivors Parade” will kick off the event at 6 p.m. and include patients, survivors and others who wish to honor those who are fighting or have died after battling cancer of any form. The parade will continue into the stadium.
Prior to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, Western’s players, wearing pink jerseys sponsored in honor of those who have fought the disease, will line the field from end zone to end zone with jersey honorees and their families. More than 170 people have been honored during the first three years of the event.
The game’s honorary captain is Commerce Elementary fifth-grader Sydney Balzer, who has fought leukemia twice and founded a community service project, Colors for Cancer Kids.
PHOTO: Walled Lake Western’s Kyle Bambard and 7-year-old Akayla Hodgins call the coin flip during the 2013 Warriors for Warriors game.
Browntown Woodhaven hosted students and families from 14 Downriver-area schools for a "Victory Day" on Sept. 23.