November 19, 2019

Mio and Fairview communities joining efforts for Pink Out

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MIO — The rivalry between Fairview Area Schools and Mio AuSable Schools is again being channeled into a good cause Oct. 24 through the Pink Out game, which helps and honors those who have been touched by breast cancer.

“You look around at all the people wearing pink outfits and realize the gym is packed because all these people have been impacted by cancer in one way or the other,” said Michelle Knepp, organizer on the Mio AuSable side.

“One thing that is neat about this is it’s been a Fairview-Mio thing that’s been combined together,” Fairview organizer Lynn Layman said. “It’s a group effort to do this.”

Each year residents have the chance to chip in during the weeks leading up to the game. The sale of Pink Out T-shirts, for instance, provides a large chunk of the fundraising total. Knepp announced on Facebook that T-shirt sales this year have provided half of the Pink Out’s $10,000 goal. While shirt orders are all in — 618 shirts were sold — Bill’s Market has been selling extra shirts.

Another way to contribute before the game is to purchase $5 raffle tickets to win a deer blind. Fairview resident Ken Troyer built the blind. Tickets are available at various businesses.

Mio and Fairview students are also joining in on fundraising efforts leading up to the game. At Fairview, classrooms are competing in a change drive called Every Penny Counts Oct. 9-24. The class with the most change will receive a pizza party. Layman said people can also drop off their change at the main office at Fairview. Last year the drive raised more than $400.

At Mio AuSable, senior Zack Coon is organizing a hat day Oct. 24 as part of a senior project he is doing on cancer awareness. Knepp said this is the second one, as one was already recently held. Each student who pays $1 will get a sticker, which gives them free reign to wear a hat, as long as it’s appropriate. All money goes toward the Pink Out.

There is also still time to donate silent auction items for the Pink Out. Donated items have been posted on the Mio-Fairview Pink Out event page as they come in, giving recognition to the businesses and individuals who have donated and giving residents a head start on deciding what they would like to try for.

The Pink Out started in 2012, raising almost $800. Since then it has grown considerably nearly every year, with more than $12,000 being raised in 2018. Knepp said over the years, the events have raised more than $41,000 in all.

All funds this year go to the Grayling Cancer Center. Knepp said a special fund has been set up there just for those who live in Oscoda County.

“If you’re an Oscoda County resident going through treatments at Grayling, you’re eligible for this fund,” she said.

The fund provides things like gas cards and food cards for cancer patients.

One of the most memorable parts of the Pink Out night is the ceremony held between the junior varsity and varsity games, when the athletes present flowers in honor of a cancer survivor or someone struggling with cancer, or in memory of someone who has passed away. This year, Munson Healthcare has donated the flowers.

During the night, Mio AuSable Superintendent Paul Ciske and Fairview Superintendent John Sattler will be teaming up to sell 50-50 tickets for $1.

The Pink Out program is also partnering with Thirty-One consultant Tammy Gadowski, who is stocking chemo bags to give to patients in Alpena, West Branch and Grayling. That night she will be present taking donations to fill the bags, including socks, chapstick, lotion, books, notepads, blankets, gloves and more. People can also sponsor a bag in memory or honor of someone for $25, and the honoree’s name will be noted on a tag attached to the bag. As of Oct. 17, Gadowski reported that 69 bags had been sponsored so far.

The event will also feature a bake sale.

The Pink Out game has become a very important tradition in Oscoda County, and Mio volleyball coach Libby Marsh encouraged residents to participate.

“This event has become such a huge part of the (volleyball) program, and we are so thankful to live in a community that is so caring and joins in the efforts for raising awareness and financial hope to so many families in so many ways,” she writes in a post on the Mio Volleyball Program Facebook page. “There will be so many ways to offer support that night and witness one of the biggest uplifting moments as all the players play with dedication in memory or in honor of those close to them who have been affected by cancer. Be sure to get there early, as it is always a packed house.”

The game begins at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at Mio AuSable High School. The event alternates between Mio and Fairview each year.

For more information or to donate, visit the Mio-Fairview Pink Out Facebook event page, or call Lynn Layman at 989-335-3903 or Michelle Knepp at 989-370-0813.

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