Merrimack volleyball team seeks Dig Pink game nominations for recipient family facing financial burden of cancer

Merrimack High School’s girls varsity volleyball team recently announced the start of a search for its 2014 recipient of funds to be raised in a special cancer awareness event, coming this fall.

The team is taking suggestions, via emails to a coach, from anyone wishing to nominate a Merrimack family impacted by cancer and in need of some financial help. The selected family will receive funds raised at the team’s next Dig Pink, an annual fundraiser held in October. It is an event based on cancer awareness.

The team raised some green to do some good during the team’s most recent Dig Pink event held in the fall. The fundraiser traditionally takes place during one of the team’s seasonal volleyball games. The money usually is donated to a charity. However, last year, the team heard about a local family in need. Some $300 was raised at the game, held in October. The money was donated to the Patch family, residents of Merrimack coping with the financial, emotional and physical burdens that come with a family member’s cancer diagnosis.

Christie Roy, 18, a senior and the captain of the varsity volleyball team, said the event drew crowds that attended the home game at Merrimack High School. The Merrimack team won. The opponents from the varsity team at Nashua North joined in the spirit and played with vigor and skill.

Roy credited teacher Tammy Lambrou, who teaches a business class and also coaches the team, for the all-out effort that brought the Patch family the funds. Visitors to the game and players, too, did their best to raise money by buying plenty of slices of hot pizza donated by PizzaRoma and claiming their share of tickets in a 50-50 raffle.

Roy’s classmates, fellow students in Lambrou’s a sport- and events-management class, volunteered to assist with the sales that generated the money. Roy said volleyball is a sport that takes practice. The team practices after school, most days, and oftentimes on Sunday mornings.

“I enjoy the fact that everybody on the team helps each other,” Roy said. “We help each other to get better.”

Lambrou knows too well the importance of raising awareness about cancer. She also knows about the financial burden cancer causes. Her mother passed away as a result of uterine cancer. The Dig Pink event was one she called a group effort made successful by students studying in Lambrou’s Introduction to Sport and Event Management course, and the freshmen junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams that Lambrou coaches, along with others who assist and support the team.

Lambrou said that her experience with her mom’s cancer diagnosis and the fact that her mother subsequently passed away from the disease has focused Lambrou on the importance of finding a cure and also on the importance of relieving the financial burden faced by families with a loved one in treatment.

“My mom passed from uterine cancer in May of 2011,” Lambrou said. “It is important we help raise funds for research to find a cure but we also need to raise money to help families in our community who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Suggestions of Merrimack families facing cancer challenges and the financial difficulties arising from a cancer diagnosis are now being accepted by email. All nominated families will be considered and one will be selected as the recipient of funds raised during the team’s upcoming 2014 Dig Pink event, to be held in October.

To nominate a family, compose an email with the notation “Dig Pink 2014 Suggestion” in the subject heading and send some details about the family and contact information for the family to Tammy Lambrou at Tammy.Lambrou@