Thursday, October 14, 2010

LynVet Jets Wear Pink in Support of Breast Cancer Research

By Eric Yun

Football isn’t just a game. For the LynVet Youth Football League, the sport teaches young men the values of teamwork and confidence. The league’s motto is “education through athletics,” and on Saturday afternoon, the athletes and coaches from the LynVet Jets came together to raise money for breast cancer research.

Emulating their NFL namesake, the Howard Beach-based LynVet Jets wore pink armbands and socks for Saturday’s game. The Jets didn’t dress up just for show. Pink t-shirts were sold, and a raffle was held for an autographed Joe Namath football.

Coach George Vega has been coaching the Jets for 11 years. He wanted to teach his athletes, ranging from 8 to 12 years old, about breast cancer awareness.

“It’s a good lesson for the kids,” Vega said. “It gets the kids asking why is everyone wearing pink?” The reason NFL teams, and now the LynVet Jets, wear pink is because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Approximately one in eight women get breast cancer during their lives, and it is the second biggest killer for women with cancer.

There’s a personal link to breast cancer on the team as well. Coach Mike Palmacio’s cousin Josephine Tumminello was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago. The money raised by the team will be donated for Tumminello to Breast Cancer Fund, and she was invited to the field for a ceremonial coin toss.

Palmacio is more than happy to show his support for his cousin, but also all women who are at risk for breast cancer. This was the first time the team decided to wear pink, and the decision looks to have caught on. “Other teams want to get involved,” Palmacio said. He mentioned that all teams in the youth league might wear pink on the last weekend of October.

As for Tumminello, she was happy about the support she received from the team. She lost the coin toss, but Saturday afternoon was a big win for breast cancer awareness.

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