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Get in the 'pink zone'

Siena basketball game to benefit breast cancer org, CRAAB!

The Siena College women's basketball team will play its 12th Pink  Zone Game to support CRAAB!, a Capital District breast cancer nonprofit organization on Friday, Jan. 20.

The Siena College women's basketball team will play its 12th Pink Zone Game to support CRAAB!, a Capital District breast cancer nonprofit organization on Friday, Jan. 20. Submitted Photo

— Sheehan said the yearly game is invaluable and is a critical source of funding for CRAAB!.

“It’s very important to us. This is a major event that we have,” said Sheehan. “With declining funds … this definitely supplements the money that we would have possibly received.”

It also plays a big part in humanizing breast cancer within the community.

“It allows us to be in the spotlight because women today are living with the fact that they had breast cancer, living with the side effects, but they are moving ahead in their life and by highlighting the survivors it puts a face on breast cancer to the fans that attend,” said Sheehan.

CRAAB! is a grassroots breast cancer organization and provides a bevy of services to affected women, many free of charge.

“We have so many exercise classes that we do—yoga in three locations, Pilates, healthy steps which we do in partnership with Hope Club. We have medical massage in your home, nutrition and exercise,” said Sheehan. “That all falls under support. We do educational programs and advocacy work. That fulfills a need in the community.”

Brown, who was one of the first female professors at Siena, had an unmatched passion for CRAAB! and that’s what Castelli said drives her to continue the Pink Zone game each year.

“It was because of Pat Brown,” said Castelli. “I really enjoyed talking to her about it and the passion she had behind it.”

Castelli said she makes sure her players understand not only the importance of the game itself but the importance of understanding what it supports: breast cancer.

“That first year I had my team go to a class on breast cancer, preventative things we needed to know,” said Castelli. “Before the game I try to impress upon our players that the actual breast cancer night is much bigger than the game. When we’re bringing out the survivors to feel good about what they’re doing but also be proud of … what this woman has gone through.”

New this year will be Power Up The Pink awards, given to someone in the business, school and medical communities who has given back in some way. President of New York Oncology Hematology Dr. Nini Wu, Rumors Salon and Day Spa founders Marri Aviza and Lisa Norgrove and Siena College student Nicole Cochetti will be honored.

The game is held in the Alumni Recreation Center. For more information about the Pink Zone game or to purchase tickets, visit www.sienasaints.com/pinkzone or contact Laura Menges at lmenges@siena.edu or 782-6769. For more information about CRAAB! Visit www.craab.org.

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