MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Betty Puskar Breast Care Center and Bonnie’s Bus have found a loyal friend in female high school students from north central West Virginia.

Students from Preston, Doddridge, Phillip Barbour, Liberty, Bridgeport, and South Harrison high schools formed teams to participate in the annual “Fight Like a Girl” Powder Puff Football Tournament at Liberty High School in Bridgeport this April 12. They recently presented a check for $7,700 to benefit the Breast Care Center and Bonnie’s Bus.

“We had so much fun organizing the event, and people who came said they really enjoyed it,” Lauren Welsh, student co-coordinator of the tournament, said. “We were excited that we raised more money this year than in any past tournament year.”

“We are so thankful for these young people who take the time to make a difference,” Barbara Menear, manager of the Breast Care Center and Bonnie’s Bus, said. “The money they raised will go toward the fight against breast cancer right here in West Virginia. Not only are they raising money, but they are raising awareness regarding the importance of screening mammograms and early detection.”  

Powder puff football is when the girls play football while the boys cheer. Male cheerleaders from five high schools cheered on their teams as well as participated in a cheer off as a way to help raise money. The crowd was also treated to performances by the WVU cheerleaders.

Additional fundraising activities at the tournament included cornhole games, face painting, concessions, multiple raffle baskets, a 50/50 drawing, door prizes, and T-shirt sales. Attendees could pay a dollar to recognize someone who is either fighting breast cancer or who has lost the battle against the disease. There was also a moment of silence for those being recognized, followed by a balloon release.  

Welsh and fellow co-coordinator Ashley Walker said coordinating an event of this complexity was an extraordinary, eye-opening experience. “Knowing that every effort we made would make a difference and that proceeds from this tournament would impact multiple lives of breast cancer patients from West Virginia gave us the drive to make it the best event it could be.”

Since the first powderpuff tournament in 2011, the event has now generated more than $22,000 for WVU breast care services.

For information on the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center, see www.wvucancer.org/bpbcc.

For information on Bonnie’s Bus, see www.wvucancer.org/bonnie.  

Photo caption: Lauren Welsh (far left) and Ashley Walker (far right) present donation to Sara Jane Gainor, director of Bonnie’s Bus, and Barb Menear, manager of the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center, from the 2015 “Fight Like a Girl” Powder Puff Football Tournament at Liberty High School in Bridgeport.

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For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
ss: 06-01-15