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12th annual 'Shooting For A Cure' ready to continue its fight against cancer

Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 03, 2023

PEMBROKE, NY. (WKBW) — In just 12 years, Pembroke High School’s "Shooting For A Cure" event has raised $227,000 for Roswell Park and cancer research.

Event organizer Mike Wilson said, “It's staggering. It’s insane. This is a small community that does really big things.”

Each year thousands of fans pack inside the Pembroke High School gym, making it a can’t miss event.

“No matter what your plans are on Friday. It’s going to be at the Pink Game," said senior Karli Houseknecht.

And this year is extra special. It’ll be the first time the event will be back to a pre-pandemic normal.

“I miss the energy. I miss the screaming. I miss the “who wants the last slice of pizza before the doors closed," said senior Carly Cerasani. "I miss that and I haven’t had that in so long.”

“Everyone’s going to be in pink. People paint their faces and go all crazy," said sophomore Seneca Calderon.

However, this day isn't about the scoreboard or the stat sheets. It’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself. A lesson varsity assistant coach, Aralyse Johnson, will never forget learning.

“I had not my worst game ever but definitely not my best game ever. And I remember sitting over there in that corner and (Mike) Wilson was like, why are you mad right now? And I was like, I had this horrible game and that was so embarrassing. Everyone was here that night," she said. "And Wilson was like, are you serious? Do you hear yourself? Look at how much money you guys just raised.”

But maybe what makes the Pink Game so special, is the inspiration Dragon alumni have sparked in their own communities since the first game.

"To watch it grow like that and see former players taking it and developing their own ideas of ways to give back," Wilson added. "It’s very inspirational.”

“We can raise money and help other people in many ways. It’s a really good teaching moment I think personally for anyone of any age," said Breanna Johnson, who was a part of the original Pink Game in 2011.

The three-game event starts at 4:00 p.m. est. with the modified game, followed by junior varsity at 5:30 p.m. and varsity at 7:00 p.m.

A link to donate to Pembroke's fight against cancer can be foundhere.