Tornados decorate Mission Hospital cancer unit, near Vs. Cancer fundraising goalDecember 3, 2015
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Brevard College baseball team traveled to Asheville’s Mission Hospital on Wednesday evening, adorning the hospital’s SECU Pediatric Cancer Unit with Christmas decorations.
A group of 21 players, coaches, and administrators traveled to Asheville for Wednesday’s project, placing decorations on the doors to two chemotherapy treatment rooms and along the cancer unit hallways. The team also put up the Christmas tree in the common area, donated festive necklaces and headbands to the nursing staff, and set up the Winter Wonderland room, a space for parents to select and wrap gifts free of charge for their children undergoing cancer treatment from among hundreds of donated items.
The hospital has called on Brevard’s baseball team to decorate the unit for the past several years. The goal of the team’s annual trek to Asheville, McCay explains, is to foster a love of serving the community by allowing players to see the specific unit benefitting from their fundraising efforts.
“Anything we can do to help the families or the kids fighting cancer in any way teaches our guys a great lesson in giving back,” said head coach Matt McCay, “and the hope is that they’ll continue doing things like this when they graduate. They may find a career in helping others or start some sort of charity on their own.”
McCay has seen firsthand the impact that a former player can have in the fight against childhood cancer. Chase Jones, a bullpen catcher that played under McCay during his days as an assistant at North Carolina, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007. Jones survived his battle with the disease and now serves as the CEO of the Vs. Cancer Foundation, a charity aiming to end childhood cancer that the Tornados have supported in each of the past six years.
The Tornados are again collecting donations to benefit Vs. Cancer this year after another successful fundraiser in 2014, bringing Brevard’s total donation to $35,000 over six years. McCay has set an ambitious fundraising goal of $7,000 this season, a mark that the Tornados are currently less than $1,500 away from attaining.
Last year’s fundraiser netted nearly $7,000, all of which benefitted western North Carolina pediatric cancer patients at Mission’s cancer unit. The hospital was able to purchase eight iPads and four laptops from last year’s donation, allowing children to Skype with their families and connect with their schools while spending time undergoing treatment in Asheville.
In an effort to raise awareness for the Vs. Cancer Foundation’s mission to cure childhood cancer, the baseball team will have their heads shaved in the hallway of Boshamer Gymnasium during the Tornados’ men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader with Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday. There will also be an opportunity to make additional donations toward the team’s $7,000 goal.
Toys will be collected at each of the Tornados’ next three doubleheaders (Dec. 5 vs. Lenoir-Rhyne, Dec. 14 vs. Lincoln Memorial, and Dec. 19 vs. Wingate). Free admission will be given to anyone donating a toy, which will be given to the Winter Wonderland room at Mission.
To help Brevard meet its fundraising goal, click here to donate to the Vs. Cancer Foundation or bring a check in any amount to Saturday’s basketball doubleheader. Checks can be made out to “Vs. Cancer” with “Brevard College Baseball” in the memo line.