Every year Conway High School assistant volleyball coach Andrea Fournier and her team raise funds to support someone in need.
The team was able to raise $15,000 this year from T-shirt sales, raffle prizes and a silent auction, donations and the annual Dig Pink game Sept. 29.
The check was presented to 13-year-old Savannah Westover and her mother, Shannon, by a group of senior players who have helped raise about $48,000 throughout the past three years during half time of the team’s Oct. 12 game.
Westover, a student in the Conway School District, is battling osteosarcoma. The team hopes the money will aid the family as they move forward.
Fournier said 90 percent of that $15,000 will go to Westover and 10 percent of it will go to a family in Houston, Texas, affected by Hurricaine Irma, that did not have flood insurance and is needing a mold-free home for a daughter dealing with health problems.
Fournier said she has a cousin who lives in Houston and knew of the family in need.
"I thought it would be really cool if we could help them out, too," she said.
When the Conway coach notified the families regarding the team’s effort, she said both were excited, especially Becky Covington, of Houston.
"She was just beyond [herself]," Fournier said. "[Just] couldn’t believe people so far away wanted to do something for their family."
Fournier said the amount of money designated for the Westovers was kept secret until Dig Pink, and the family was surprised with how much was raised.
The driving force behind that, Fournier said, was the group of about 18 moms, the Pink Ladies, who worked tirelessly day after day for months to make the Dig Pink night a success.
"I just cannot say enough about them," she said. "They are the heart and soul of Pink Night. I know [the families] are very thankful for what my team and the Pink Ladies have done for this family."
Fournier said she hopes this money will help ease the burden of what these families are going through and take a little bit of stress and weight off their shoulders.