Published on September 21st, 2017 | by TLV News0
Charity Ping-Pong Tournament a Great Way to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a few local first responders are teaming up to show their support. Firefighter Sammie Woodall, of both the Oxford and Lafayette County Fire Departments, is spearheading the annual event with pride. The idea to combine competition and charity came to Sammie when he and his fellow firefighters were discussing Breast Cancer Awareness Month as it approached last year.
“The idea of finding a way to come together and support breast cancer screenings really appealed to everybody we reached out to,” said Sammie. “My life was touched by cancer early on. My brother had leukemia as a child. I remember my parents having to take him to St. Jude and how that affected our family—so helping support cancer screenings was definitely something I felt was important.”
The event seeks local participants for some friendly competitive Ping-Pong play, with a pool-style singles and doubles tournament. Participants can claim their own partner for doubles play, or be matched with someone there, and the $20 registration covers both brackets.
“We’re going to try to keep folks playing against their own skill level, which your first match will determine,” said Sammie. Proceeds from the event support Baptist Cancer Center’s Mammogram Assistance Program, which provides assistance to cover mammogram screenings for under-insured and uninsured women in North Mississippi. If Ping-Pong isn’t one of your many talents, local supporters are welcome to come watch the event and participate in the raffle or simply make a donation in support of breast cancer screenings.
Sammie successfully pulled off last year’s inaugural event, and is promising an even bigger and better event for this year’s participants and fans.
“What I’m most excited about this year are the donations, sponsors, and local businesses that have stepped up to make this event competitive and fun for the whole family. We have trophies for winners through third place in both our singles and doubles competitions, donated by Dickinson Contracting and Thweatt Construction, and we have refreshments and snacks courtesy of Larson’s Cash Saver.”
Sammie found a large portion of his support from his fellow firefighters. “We wanted to do the raffle so that folks who aren’t competing can still have some fun, too. I started by just asking all of the guys who have their own businesses to throw in something. That got us a window tinting package, a lawn service, a carpet-cleaning package, a car detailing, and some T-shirt printing. We’ve also received donations of two $50 gift certificates to local celebrity bakery SweetT’s, turkey and duck calls, and Ole Miss autographed memorabilia. But our biggest prize might be the $500 Walmart gift card sponsored by Midsouth Communications and Fondren & Vaughn Heating and Air Conditioning.”
The event is being hosted by the Oxford Park Commission (OPC) on Sunday, October 8, in the Activity Center across the street from the Oxford Police Department. No word on how many of the brave and blue may come across the street for some good-natured competition, but over a dozen firefighters are ready to respond. Registration is available now at oxfordparkcommision.com or in the OPC central office.