Pinellas Park Public Works Administrator Tom Nicholls accepts an MVP award on behalf of the city from WellSpring Oncology Executive Director Lan Nguyen.
PINELLAS PARK – The fourth annual Catch for the Cure softball tournament, a benefit focused on awareness of prostate cancer, raised $3,000 for the WellSpring Oncology Giving Tree Fund Sept. 29.
Lan Nguyen, WellSpring Oncology executive director, said that for its small size, the event was a great success.
“Especially with the participation of the city, which makes it that much better,” she said. “Every year, the event draws more and more attention.”
She added that hosting a softball tournament as a cancer awareness event offers “something for the guys,” in what can be a female-dominated fundraising landscape.
About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which usually affects men older than 65, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States, behind lung cancer, but only 1 in 36 men diagnosed with the disease die from it.
The oncology center’s Giving Tree Fund helps patients deal with everyday bills and expenses that begin to add up on top of costly cancer treatments. Reducing stessors can be key in the fight against cancer, Nguyen said.
The fund can help pay for anything from utility bills to groceries and gas without any overhead administrative costs. It also allows the center to adopt 10 families during Christmas, providing a turkey dinner and gifts for the children.
Along with games between teams made up of members of the community, the tournament also featured a five-inning “hero’s game” between Pinellas Park firefighters and police officers. The fire department claimed a 14-9 victory over the police department, scoring unanswered seven runs in the second inning. Although police officers outscored their fire counterparts in the innings that followed, they never caught up.