Relay for Life teams sold their merchandise during the ‘Paint the Gym Purple’ game between ICCP and York on Jan. 8. (Photo By Jack Castanoli)
Relay for Life teams sold their merchandise during the ‘Paint the Gym Purple’ game between ICCP and York on Jan. 8.

Photo By Jack Castanoli

Dukes Shed Their Green for Purple to Support Relay for Life

January 14, 2020

 All levels of York’s basketball teams took on the Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep (ICCP) Knights in the Crosstown Classic on Jan. 8 to support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. “Paint the Gym Purple” is an annual basketball game held at York in which fans and players sport their purple gear to bring awareness to cancer research.

Hosting “Paint the Gym Purple” on the night of the historically well attended Crosstown Classic was a purposeful decision by event coordinators; it allowed both York and ICCP Relay for Life teams to fundraise on the same night and brought the entire Elmhurst community together. The game provided the perfect arena to meet Student Coordinator Anne Sullivan’s goals for the event: “Raise awareness, raise funds and have fun.”

“[‘Paint the Gym Purple’] is just getting everybody in the spirit [and] ready for Relay,” senior Julia Frey said. “We work to raise money for Relay for Life, and it’s through the York YAY committee. At the end of the year we have a big celebration on our final night of Relay [for Life], which is May 2.”

Sullivan assists organizers in making “Paint the Gym Purple” possible.

Relay for Life team ‘Pirates of the Cure-ibbean’ members (from left) seniors Audrey Buffo, Julia Frey, and Josephina Capannari sell raffle tickets during the “Paint the Gym Purple” game on Jan. 8.

“I got involved with Relay for Life because I lost my dad and my brother-in-law to cancer,” Sullivan said. “I got involved with the students when my kids were [at York], and I liked it so much that I continued to do it even after my kids are gone.”

At the game, Relay for Life teams sold raffle tickets and accepted donations.

“All donations go to [the American Cancer Society], which raises money for cancer research,” senior Audrey Buffo said. 

The message of “Paint the Gym Purple” is not just to donate to cancer research; rather, it is designed to inspire students to lead by example.

“[‘Paint the Gym Purple’] is a great way to teach kids how to give back,” Sullivan said. “It’s not a real serious fundraiser; it’s a fun fundraiser.” 

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