The Alpena Community College men's and women's basketball teams will be looking to earn a pair of wins at home tonight against Delta, but whether the Lumberjacks win or lose they'll be playing for a good cause.
The Lumberjacks will host the Pioneers tonight at Park Arena in the fourth annual Hoops for Hope Pink Games, which raises awareness for breast cancer. The ACC men's team will play at 5:30 p.m. and the women's game will follow at 7:30 p.m.
The event is sponsored by ACC, Alpena High School, the Alpena Cancer Center and Alpena Regional Medical Center.
The Alpena Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams will host Delta tonight in the fourth annual Hoops for Hope Pink Games to raise awareness of breast cancer. Pictured from left are ACC players Kharri Dailey, Ashleigh Monticello, Whitney Frazier and William Gates Jr.
Since its inception, the event has raised more than $23,000 and proceeds are donated to the Mammography Subsidy Fund. Nearly 2,000 women have utilized the fund since its establishment in 2004.
"It's kind of a really unique event. We've not only grown, but we've gotten new people from working with students," ARMC Development Director Ann Diamond said. "It doesn't get old because in working with new people, it maintains the excitement."
The event began in 2011 after Mike Kollien, who was coaching the Alpena High girls freshman basketball team, attended a pink game in Gaylord and decided Alpena needed to have a similar event.
The Alpena High boys and girls basketball teams will hold pink games next week. Alpena's boys team will host Cheboygan on Monday and Alpena's girls team will host Cadillac on Friday, Feb. 14.
Kollien collaborated with ACC women's basketball coach Bobby Allen about holding a joint event between the two schools and the duo used some fundraising money from basketball camps to get it started. The event raised $10,000 in its first year and has grown from there.
"It's a great annual event, not only only at the college and not only from the athletes, but from parents, student marketing groups and the nurses association," Kollien, who is ACC's admissions director, said.
A return to their home court could be just what the Lumberjacks need. The ACC women's team (6-11, 3-7 MCCAA Eastern) hasn't won at home since Jan. 18 and the men's team (4-14, 2-8 MCCAA Eastern) has lost its last four games and hasn't earned a home win since Jan. 11.
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.