PEMBROKE, N.Y. — The Pembroke Girls basketball team is celebrating a decade of raising money for cancer research and patient programs at Roswell Park.
Their annual Shooting for a Cure event normally brings hundreds of fans to Pembroke High School, but COVID-19 safety rules have forced them to scale back the festivities.
Still, their mission remains the same, and this year their fundraising goal is bigger than ever.
"We want to show our community that even though COVID is going on, we know cancer doesn't stop, and we want to show how much love we have for everyone in our community that's affected by cancer," said event organizer Mike Wilson.
Players are limited to two fans each, so the bleachers won't be packed with people cheering the team on. They've also nixed the big halftime celebration to keep the number of people in attendance to a minimum.
Despite plans for a smaller event, the team is getting a ton of support from the Pembroke community and beyond.
Players have been busy for months promoting the game on social media and selling hundreds of raffle tickets and football squares. Their opponent Friday night — Oakfield-Alabama — has even stepped up to sell raffle tickets for the cause.
"The feeling, it's indescribable. Giving back gives you a sense of importance, and it's so exciting to watch a community rally together, to be able to see who's being impacted and to know that you are making a difference," said junior Allie Schwerthoffer, a forward on the team.
Wilson said people from across the country have been buying raffle tickets or just making a donation. Some have no ties to Pembroke, Roswell Park, or Western New York. They simply saw what the team's doing on social media and wanted to help.
Click here to donate to Roswell Park.
This year, Shooting for a Cure is raffling off five sets (four tickets each) of Disney Park Hopper passes, with the proceeds benefitting Roswell Park. Click here to see the online raffle.