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Washington Elementary football raises awareness about breast cancer

<p>Washington flag football player Olu Logan and Northwestern wide receiver Christian Jones. | Photo courtesy of Aviva Bollinger</p>
<p>Photo courtesy of Aviva Bollinger</p>
<p>Northwestern's wide receiver Christian Jones with one of the Washington players. | Photo courtesy of Aviva Bollinger</p>
<p>Photo courtesy of Aviva Bollinger</p>
<p>Washington 5th grade flag football team | Photo courtesy of Aviva Bollinger</p>

Washington Elementary football players raised awareness about breast cancer in the Evanston community last Tuesday. Read the press release for more information: 

The Thunderbirds help raise awareness for breast cancer and honor individual patients suffering from the disease.

On Tuesday, October 29, Washington's 5th grade flag football players helped generate awareness of breast cancer within the Evanston community.

With the entire football team behind them, four players read a statement and each player presented their team photo to Carol Flanagan, RN, MSN, OCN and Clinical Coordinator for the LIFE Cancer Survivorship Program and NorthShore University HealthSystem. The team photos were 30 unique stills where each player posed with the “I Play For You” ribbon, honoring local patients suffering from the disease.

“We hope our pictures will bring your patients a little hope for the future, and that maybe our actions will become a tradition. But most importantly, we hope that maybe, if only for a few minutes, we can make the people you help smile during this difficult time. We are pleased to present you with our team pictures, and thank you for what you do,” said 5th grader Evelyn Schultz, Thunderbird player #29.

This honor came after a month-long learning experience for these players as they began to understand why Chicago Bears and Northwestern Wildcat football players were wearing pink throughout October.  

“At first we thought that wearing the color pink was cool. But we have learned a lot this football season in how we can make a difference in someone’s life at a time they need our support the most,” said 5th grader Evan Nesbitt, Thunderbird #3.

While incorporating pink into their own uniforms, Head Coach Chris Nesbitt reached out to Flanagan and arranged for an individual patient partner for each player, a patient that these players would consider as they represented the fight against breast cancer. Flanagan remarked how much she and her patients appreciated the players efforts to show they care and their gratitude toward how the players continue to bring awareness about early screenings. As a token of her thanks, Flanagan presented each player with a pink football rally towel and breast cancer pin.

The presentation took place during the team’s usual practice time. In addition to the photo presentation, Ray Doerner, CPRP Program Manager for the Evanston Recreation Department awarded Washington's 5th graders with the Darrell W Judon Sportsmanship Trophy.

In its 21st year, the trophy is presented to one elementary school each year, to honor the attitude, pride, and leadership represented this season.The trophy was presented to the entire Washington Thunderbirds Team, and will reside at Washington the entire year. Washington has now received this honor four times.

Special guest Christian Jones, wide receiver for the Northwestern Wildcats, joined the Thunderbirds, Flanagan and Doerner on stage as the presentations took place and signed autographs for the players immediately following.

 

 

 

 

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