Pink and orange filled the room as people affected by breast cancer and supporters of Oregon State women's sports met in the club level of Reser Stadium on Saturday morning for the annual Pink Out breakfast and silent auction.
"It's the perfect match," said Judy Corwin, director of marketing for The Corvallis Clinic. The money from the auction benefits one of the clinic's programs, Project H.E.R. (Help. Enlighten. Resources.), a breast health services program available in Benton, Linn and Lincoln counties.
The event, organized by the Oregon State University athletic department, invited community members to eat breakfast with the OSU gymnastics team, who had their Pink Out meet Friday evening, and listen to speakers while supporting the program's cause. The women's basketball team had planned on attending the event, but the noon start for the game against Stanford did not allow enough time for the early morning breakfast. Both teams' booster clubs, the 10.0 Club for gymnastics and the Rebounders for basketball, helped organize and hosted the event.
"We wanted to make a difference in the community," OSU gymnastics coach Tanya Chaplin said. "It started off as a mother-daughter breakfast and became more about supporting education and awareness. Each year we wanted to make more of an impact."
Last year's event raised $10,000, which went toward education, resources and services provided by the H.E.R. program. Autographed memorabilia, handmade quilts and gift certificates to sporting events were auctioned.
Chaplin said that although this is the sixth year of the team's involvement with Pink Out events, this year's event meant more to the team.
"One of our floor officials passed away Tuesday to breast cancer," she said. "It brings it all home again."
For Leilani Alferos, a sophomore gymnast from Orange County, Calif., events like these remind her of the trying times her family has experienced. During her freshman year of high school, Alferos' mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been free of the cancer for four years now, Alferos said.
"My mom is proud that I'm part of a team that is focused on the cause," Alferos said. "It's definitely emotional; she's such a hero to me."
The Pink Out women's basketball game will be held Feb. 12, when the Beavers host the UCLA Bruins.
Emily Gillespie can be reached at 541-758-9548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.