SALISBURY–Mallory Hodge loves two things– her family and volleyball.
After her maternal and paternal grandmothers both survived battles with breast cancer, the coach of the Salisbury High School volleyball team found a way to combine her two passions. She started hosting the Side-Out Foundation’s Dig Pink® National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally at Salisbury High—ordinary volleyball games with extraordinary goals of raising money and awareness for breast cancer research.
In what’s become a Salisbury tradition, Hodge and her players hosted the 3rd Annual Dig Pink Rally with a pair of matches, junior varsity and varsity, against East Rowan on Monday.
East Rowan swept Salisbury in three tight sets, 25-23, 26-24 and 25-23. East improved its record to 12-7 while Salisbury slipped to 8-14. East got excellent play from senior outside hitters Brittany Small and Avery Wright and junior setter Jordan McCall. Salisbury middle hitter Juliana Anderson had 15 kills and five blocks.
Between the games, volleyball players and coaches presented pink roses to every breast cancer survivor in the audience, including Hodge’s grandmothers. Ten girls, including members of both squads, donated hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to make wigs for cancer patients.
“I started Dig Pink to raise money and more importantly to raise awareness for breast cancer. Both of my grandmothers are survivors, and it just means a lot to me to see them in the stands,” Hodge says. “This is a horrible disease that can affect anyone, including men. It’s my hope to not only raise money to help find a cure but also to raise awareness for the young ladies participating and everyone in attendance.”
The Dig Pink Rally also included a raffle with a dozen prizes valued at up to $135.
This fall, thousands of volleyball teams around the country will participate in Dig Pink rallies to promote breast health education in the community, as well as raise funds to further research. Dig Pink events give spectators the opportunity to become involved by making donations to the cause and by pinking out the events—donning pink to show their support.
The term side-out refers to a situation in volleyball when one team wins a point while the opponent is serving, thereby regaining serve or control of play. The Side-Out Foundation hopes to do the same for breast cancer patients, providing them with the support, education and best available treatments to regain control of their lives.
Congratulations to Salisbury and East Rowan for their participation and we thank Salisbury High School for providing this information.