PEMBROKE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Pembroke High School girls' basketball team will host the 10th annual "Shooting for a Cure!" event to benefit the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The event will take place March 5 at 7 p.m. in the high school gym against Oakfield-Alabama. The school says due to COVID-19 restrictions admission to the game is by school-issued passes only.
The event began 10 years ago when the team approached then head coach Mike Wilson with an idea to show their support for Toni Funke, wife of coach and Pembroke teacher Ron Funke, in her battle against breast cancer. Officials say although the event has grown, the goal remains the same: show support for community members in the fight against cancer.
“The most important part of the event is feeling the love and support from the organizers of this event, the team and the entire community," said Toni Funke. "From the beginning, Pembroke as a whole has really shown that we’ve got each other’s backs. Cancer affects everyone. We're all in this together. We stand together as a community, willing to fight the good fight.”
Since its inception, the event has raised $152,000. Officials say it is one of Roswell Park's largest community-based fundraisers.
“I take this game very personally. 'Shooting for a Cure!' started with Toni’s diagnosis and that original team wanting to show their love and support for Toni and our family," said current coach Ron Funke. "It’s the foundation of it all. That act of love then, and still to this day, is extremely powerful; it's overwhelming. To watch how this event has continued to grow every year inspires me.”
This year the team hopes to break the $200,000 mark in total funds raised. Donations can be made online here.
The team has set up other ways to support the cause this year as well and additional fundraising ideas remain in the works.
You can purchase "Shooting for a Cure!" gear from 26 Shirts through February 14 here.
Food trucks will be set up in the school parking lot the night of the event from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will donate a percentage of proceeds to cancer research at Roswell Park.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions WBTA will help with an AM/FM broadcast of the game and a live video feed will also be provided.