A mix of 5th through 12th-grade participants in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD’s Girls Basketball program surround a plaque honoring them and their teammates during the dedication of the Wells Breast Cancer Center. COURTESY PHOTO/Reg Bennett

WELLS ─ On Sept. 12, York Hospital’s Wells Breast Care Center was formally dedicated in honor of the student-athletes of the Wells-Ogunquit Girls Basketball Program for raising more than $270,000 for the hospital’s Breast Cancer and Living Well with Cancer funds.

This was accomplished over a decade by team members shooting free throws matched with pledges in a program called “Shootin’ For A Cure.” The idea for this annual fundraiser was that of Girls Basketball Coach Don Abbott and the program has been coordinated by a committee of seven (including Abbott) which manages and organizes this endeavor with various fundraising activities.

Present for the dedication was current and former team members, hospital staff including physicians and others from the community. Among the speakers who praised the contributions of the Wells girls was guest speaker Lani (Boardman) Silversides of York, an athlete, author, and cancer survivor.

York Hospital CEO Judd Knox was also present and thanked not only the athletes but the community for their support in his remarks to those assembled.

“(This is) a wonderfully fine occasion,” said CEO Knox when asked later for a comment. “These girls and young women have done such an awesome job over the last 10 years. The dollars are really almost overwhelming but not nearly as meaningful as their contributions to helping other people. That’s the whole deal. My reward is their smiling faces. It’s awesome.”

Every January, about 70 fifth-graders through 12-grade team members from Wells High School and Wells Junior High School gather together on a Saturday to shoot hoops to honor pledges made by the public.

Also attending the dedication ceremony was York Hospital Trustee John Houlihan, whose daughter Kate passed away from cancer. Houlihan stresses the importance of the Living Well with Cancer fund in helping families caring for a cancer sufferer meet expenses not covered by insurance and said that his daughter (who lived in New Jersey) was very fond of donating to a similar fund in her area.

The next Shootin’ for Cure event is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2020 in the Ronco Gymnasium at Wells High School. The event will also feature an evening basketball game with Traip Academy.

According to Shootin’ For a Cure Committee member Karen Tufts, anyone can make a pledge to this program.

For more information contact Pierce Cole at [email protected]

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