High Point hoops honors cancer survivors


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  • The High Point Girls' Varsity team carries a Pretty in Pink check to be presented.




  • Cancer survivors receive roses, hugs, and I am a cancer survivor medallions.




  • A cancer survivor receives a rose from a High Point Varsity Girls' team member.



High Point Regional High School gym was jam packed and pulsing with energy, Saturday, Jan. 21 at during the Pretty in Pink (PIP) 2017 Classic Varsity Girls' basketball game.

That Saturday, the community raised over $30,000 – which will go to local families battling cancer and two charities – Newton Medical Center and the “One Inning at a Time Foundation.”

In seven years, the community has raised $180,000 in the fight against cancer.

The fundraiser involved four basketball games, beginning at 12:30 p.m.: the High Point eighth-grade Travel League, winning 35-26; HP Junior Varsity Girls, beating Pope John, 51-29. The Newton varsity boys team beat High Point, 47-28, and the High Point girls beat Pope John, 45-31.

During the varsity Girls' game, checks, amidst loud cheers and applause, were presented to community families battling cancer.

In addition to Hap Rowan and family being presented a check, Rowan also received the 2017 Courage Award. The award recognized his own fight against cancer and creating “financial support for others in order to make sure no one fights alone,” He and his wife, Mary, started the “One Inning at a Time Foundation,” dedicated to beating rare forms of cancer.

At half time, “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains” was played through the gym as many cancer survivors gathered on the floor to receive: roses, hugs, tears, and a medallion saying, “I am a cancer survivor.”

Organizer Tom Smith — of Garden State Koi — explained, “There's a much bigger night here, than just a basketball game.” He said they were raising people's awareness, giving back to the community, and trying to keep the money in the community.

Sadly, he added, one mom had just died of brain cancer.

The event happened, Smith said, only because of the hard work of parents, coaches, and players. They had 100 people in the gym on Friday: decorating the gym, painting all the banners, blowing up over a thousand balloons, baking, and cooking all day for the full concession stand.

His own daughter, Taylor Smith, initially had started the HP PIP Classic fundraiser seven years earlier.

Smith explained, on top of the fundraiser and giving back to local families, it was a wonderful opportunity for the girls' team to play to a packed gym, which would be an experience they would never forget.

At the end of the night, the PIP Classic did not know the final number raised, because they were counting concessions and raffles.

The Director of Donations at the Newton Medical Center Steve Flynn won $325 from the PIP 50/50 raffle. He then donated it right back to the Newton Medical Center.


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