If you happened by Birdsall, Harveston or Ronald Regan Sports Park Saturday in Temecula, you saw thousands of local gamers playing for pink.
“Two weeks ago the board met and decided to go big this October and show our support for the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” said Temecula Valley Soccer Association Director of Coaches David Guinn. “And this is what happens when a group like this sets their mind to something.”
Indeed, there was pink everywhere — from relining every field with pink outlines and large pink ribbons in the center of each circle, to selling TVSA Hawks-affiliated merchandise to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“One-hundred percent of the money raised will go to the foundation,” said Guinn.
The TVSA’s recreational teams already raised money through the sales of pink socks, all of which was donated locally to Michelle’s Place, Temecula’s breast cancer resource center, Guinn said.
“The socks campaign was so successful that we decided to reach out to our larger soccer community and step up the effort,” said Guinn. “Now, we have 170 teams promoting awareness. For each field of play for the remainder of October this year and every October going forward we’ll show our pink, through the lining of the fields and (using) a pink game ball for each game.”
TVSA board member Stephanie Weatherly, herself a breast cancer survivor and now warrior for Southwest Riverside and the Inland Empire, manned the booth at Ronald Regan Sports Park in Temecula on Saturday morning.
“The TVSA now has a team for the 14th annual Susan G. Komen Inland Empire Race for the Cure. We’re also offering a $5 discount for registration online. We have everything from shoe laces and tattoos to T-shirts and hats. Wear your pink and get involved,” Weatherly said.
Guinn has dedicated over eleven years of his life, every Saturday, all day, every fall and spring to TVSA soccer.
“When our board member, Stephanie Weatherly, got us moving and involved, we saw that this program was a no-brainer. Early detection is everything with breast cancer and we can help educate our teams when they’re young and get them in on the cause,” Guinn said.
Players, teams and families supported the efforts on the field by wearing pink and showing their support.
“It’s good to know that the merchandise we’ve bought is actually going to the cause,” said soccer mom Nicole Downs. “I love the fact that the league is exposing kids to the importance of this cause for women’s health.”
Downs, herself wearing a pink-ribbon hat, purchased from the TVSA program.
“This is going to be a great annual program for Temecula and for TVSA,” Weatherly said.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.