Broadalbin-Perth boys’ soccer Pink Out returns Saturday

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Photo courtesy of BPCSD Senior soccer players get ready to “pink” a local homeowner’s front lawn.

By PAUL WAGER

The Leader-Herald

BROADALBIN — Across the country, the color pink is omnipresent during the month of October in honor of breast cancer awareness.

In Fulton County and the surrounding area, no one does pink bigger or better than the Broadalbin-Perth boys’ soccer program.

The Patriots are scheduled to host the 12th annual Robin Blowers Pink Out on Saturday.

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The day-long event will feature three soccer games featuring all three levels of the B-P program, as well as a fun run, vendors, raffles, a food truck and fireworks.

“It’s all for a good cause,” said Kristin Pasquarelli, who is a member of the organizing committee and whose son is a member of the B-P varsity team. “I think it’s great that it gives kids the opportunity to have a bigger impact. They get a chance to play the sport they love, and at the same time, give back to the community.”

The Pink Out began in 2009 as a way to honor and support former Broadalbin-Perth Principal Robin Blowers, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier that year. Though Blowers succumbed to the disease in 2015, the Pink Out is one of many ways her legacy lives on at B-P

“Even though Robin is no longer with us, her legacy lives with this event,” Broadalbin-Perth boys’ varsity soccer coach Brian Henry said.

Henry and B-P kindergarten teacher and soccer parent Kristie Schwartz have been involved with the Pink Out since its inception.

“I definitely use the soccer program as a tool to teach life lessons,” Henry said. “The Pink Out has given my athletes the chance to forge a strong team bond and provided them with a great opportunity to pay it forward.”

Schwartz, who has worked at Broadalbin-Perth for 22 years, remembers Blowers as always happy and smiling.

“She was the epitome of what B-P is,” she said in a news release.

The event has grown bigger each year and has turned into what Schwartz described as a “festival for the community, with a sprinkling of soccer.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pink Out did not take place last year and Henry said that he is looking forward to its return.

“The Patriot Pink Out is one of the biggest community events of the whole year,” he said. “This event gives hope to people and brings the entire community together for a common cause.”

Even though the event was started to honor, Blowers, his friend and colleague, the event has also taken on an even more personal meaning for Henry.

“My mother is a breast cancer survivor and I have close family friends that are currently battling cancer, so this is an opportunity for me to personally support them while paying it forward,” he said. “It’s also very humbling and rewarding to know that our event has been the catalyst for other school districts and sports teams to start their own pink-out game.”

As the event has grown over the years, Henry and Schwartz have worked to extend it beyond just one way and in turn, raise even more money for the cause.

B-P students have been able to “pink” local houses in the weeks leading up to the Pink Out. Members of the soccer team work together to post pink ribbons in community members’ yards, accompanied by a note proclaiming that their yard has been “pinked.”

The letter also explains that a Pink Out donation is the only way to get the pink ribbons off their lawn and move them on to someone else’s house.

As a result of the fundraising efforts, more than $60,000 has been raised for the American Cancer Society.

“With all the success the soccer program has had, from the multiple league titles, sectional titles, to a New York State championship, the Pink Out is still our crowning achievement,” Henry said. “The Pink Out has become a huge community event and it is an opportunity to recognize the many people that have battled cancer and are currently battling cancer. In addition to raising over $60,000 for the American Cancer Society, our efforts have received worldwide recognition from soccer star Abby Wambach.”

In addition to their off-field fundraising efforts, the on-field performance has also been impressive for B-P during its Pink Out games. The Patriots are 10-1 in their 11 Pink Out games, outscoring the opposition 46-9. In the Pink Out game, the Patriots have faced Gloversville four times, Johnstown five times, and Queensbury and Amsterdam once. This will be Cobleskill-Richmondville’s first appearance in the game. Johnstown is the only opponent to defeat B-P in a Pink Out game, winning 5-3 in 2018.

This year’s Pink Out begins at 3 p.m., with the B-P modified team facing Johnstown. The Patriots’ junior varsity team will face South Glens Falls at 5 p.m., and the day will conclude with the B-P varsity team facing Cobleskill-Richmondville at 7 p.m.

During this year’s event, there will be a fun run for children 12 and younger at 6:30 p.m. and a cancer survivor recognition at halftime of the boys’ varsity game. The Pink Out will be capped by a fireworks display following the varsity game.

All of the B-P athletes wear pink uniforms for the event.

The entire community is welcome to participate the Pink Out activities scheduled for Saturday at Broadalbin-Perth Junior/Senior High School.

“I am not surprised by the success the Pink Out has had because the Broadalbin-Perth community is the best,” Henry said. “Each year we have students, parents, and community members set up to the plate to make it happen. It is special on so many levels.”

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By Paul Wager