BEECHER | The annual "Pink Game" has become one of the biggest of the season for Beecher boys soccer, regardless of the opponent.
The Bobcats hosted Grant Park on Thursday for the sixth event to recognize cancer survivors and benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Players from Beecher donned pink jerseys while those from Grant Park wore pink socks. The stands were a sea of pink as students, parents and fans wore pink shirts, shorts, headbands and high socks.
Concessions and T-shirts were sold and $3 was charged for admission, the only time admission will be charged this season. All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
The event began six seasons ago thanks to the inspiration of coach Dawn Compton. Compton's grandmother, Dolores Pienta, has beaten the disease twice. Pienta, 81, was one of the survivors sitting on couches and comfortable chairs placed along the sidelines.
"I feel very privileged to be able to come out here," Pienta said. "It's a privilege to meet people who are in the same category as I am, fighting for their lives."
Pienta has beaten both colon and breast cancer. She's been cancer-free for five years, but doesn't like to speak about it.
"Cancer is cancer and I don't like to advertise that I've had it," Pienta said. "Why should I? I'm not the only one who has had it."
A dozen survivors -- all friends or family of the teams/schools -- were honored at halftime. Each was escorted to midfield by a player.
"It's very touching that the kids want to do this," Theresa Peterson said. "Family is very important and to show that family is there to support you is very important."
Peterson survived breast cancer in August of 2010.
Peterson's nephew, Bailey Schultz, is a striker for the Bobcats. He scored the second goal in Beecher's 2-0 win.
"It's awesome playing, not only our team, but for all the breast cancer survivors today. It feels good to get a win for them, too," Schultz said. "If feels nice to have (Peterson) out here. It felt good to score for her, too."