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Power of Pink

Luisa Blanco standing on a platform lit up in pink holding a placard with a cancer surviver's name written on it

Alabama Athletics Power of Pink History

Pink shakers, pink shirts, even the occasional pink boa – once a season, everyone puts on their best pink outfits, grabs their favorite pink accessories and heads to Coleman Coliseum for a gymnastics meet.

The pink isn't as much a fashion statement, but a show of support for former Alabama gymnastics head coach Sarah Patterson's Power of Pink initiative. It started with a simple idea and grew into one of Patterson's greatest triumphs.

She wanted to help raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer, a disease that has touched the lives of so many women around the world.

"I am very lucky," Patterson said. "Not only to be healthy, but also that I have access to excellent medical care. Not everyone is so fortunate, and I wanted to do something that would help those who need it most."

So she picked Alabama vs. Auburn on Feb. 4, 2005, and designated it as the "Drive 4 the Cause" meet. She asked everyone to mark the date and to "Think Pink, Wear Pink."

Within the UA athletics department the event has grown from gymnastics to other sports to the point where Alabama Athletics' Power of Pink program sees Crimson Tide women's teams hosting pink events throughout the year.

The pink events have also gone beyond Crimson Tide athletics and Tuscaloosa, exploding into a nationwide cause. Since Alabama hosted its first meet in 2005, all of the nation's top gymnastics programs have either hosted or participated in a pink meet, including every member of the Southeastern Conference.

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association started its pink initiative in 2007, encouraging its members to participate in a "Think Pink" week that has now evolved into the WBCA's "Pink Zone." There have been similar efforts at the collegiate level in women's soccer and volleyball as well. Even the NFL and Major League Baseball have gotten into the act with NFL players wearing pink gloves, chinstraps and shoes during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and MLB players using pink bats on Mother's Day in a show of support in the fight against breast cancer.

From the beginning, support for Patterson's Power of Pink initiative was swift and widespread. "So many people have worked extremely hard and put in long hours for this worthy cause, this vital fight," Patterson said. "What we all realize is that as coach Paul Bryant was fond of saying β€˜The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.' I can think of no greater reward, no better return on the investment of time and resources so many have put forth, than beating this disease."

The Power of Pink continues to grow every day, and because of the way Tuscaloosa has taken to the Power of Pink, women in the West Alabama community have someone in their corner in the fight against breast cancer.

The DCH Breast Cancer Fund

The DCH Foundation established a fund to support Sarah Patterson's Power of Pink initiative in the winter of 2004. Donations can be made to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund by mailing a check to: DCH Foundation, 809 University Blvd. E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. The DCH Breast Cancer Fund should be noted on the memo line of the check. The DCH Foundation, Inc., was established in 1973 to provide a way for citizens of West Alabama to help create for themselves the best health system in the nation.

The DCH Breast Cancer Fund's purpose is to promote awareness and provide educational programs on prevention and early detection of breast cancer. The Fund also provides breast screenings to women in need of those services. Patients who meet the eligibility requirements will be provided assistance to pay for early detection services at the DCH Cancer Center. Eligibility criteria will be prepared and provided upon request.

Soccer

Reyna Reyes out on the field wearing a pink uniform

Sunday, October 16
11 a.m.
vs. Arkansas

Volleyball

Katie Shook returning the ball wearing a pink jersey

Friday, October 14
6 p.m.
vs. Alabama St.

Cross Country

Female student-athletes running a cross country race

Friday, October 14
Crimson Classic

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