Tradition is everything to the John S. Burke Catholic High School football team as evidenced in how they spend their time off the field. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. This week, to help raise awareness of this often deadly disease, the team tied teal ribbons on trees in the Village of Goshen for the fourth year straight. They also handed out awareness posters and cards to local businesses in the hope that more people will learn the symptoms. Early detection increases survival.
In 2015, Burke Catholic graduate and Montgomery resident, Cory Lee, spearheaded the effort in memory of his aunt, Corinne Feller, who died of ovarian cancer at age 18. Corinne was a lifelong Montgomery resident and standout student and athlete at Valley Central High School. She died of ovarian cancer after a 10-month battle.
Lee received full support in the effort from his teammates and coaches for three straight seasons. He graduated last spring and is now a student at the University of South Carolina, but this year, the Burke Catholic football team and coach picked up where he left off.
“When I spoke to the team, they said they love volunteering for this cause, and want to keep it an annual Burke Catholic football tradition,” said Coach Aaron Hasbrouck. “We hope we are helping to save lives by raising awareness.”
The awareness effort wouldn’t have happened without the entire community’s support. The Goshen mayor and village officials approved the team’s request, and James Murray Florist created the bows the team used to adorn the trees.
The team’s mission to raise awareness extends back to the Burke Catholic community. The players will wear teal ribbons on their uniforms for games during the month of September and ovarian cancer awareness cards will be handed out at the gate.
“Girls at Burke Catholic put teal ribbons on their phones and both boys and girls wear team teal athletes for awareness shirts,” said Cory Lee. “It means a lot to have this tradition carry on. I’m really proud of my team’s commitment to this important cause.”