Newport High School goes "pink" for breast cancer awareness

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – Anyone who passes by Greyhound Field in Newport this weekend may think the school's colors are orange, black and pink.

Newport High School wrapped up a month-long effort Friday night to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, and it's gotten the whole town tickled pink.

The varsity cheerleading squad hosted a "pink-out" Friday, asking fans coming to watch the Greyhounds take on the Clinton Yellowjackets to dress in pink to support the fight against breast cancer.

"Our coach [Judy Beard] always talks to us about how much the community supports us," said Mindy Linvell, the cheerleading captain, "and so she tries to get us every year to do one philanthropic project to give back to the community."

This year, Linvell and her teammates decided to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. The timing could not have been more perfect, as October is recognized nationally as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The cheerleaders started selling paper links for a dollar apiece to form a "Chain of Hope," which was displayed at Friday's game. The proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Arkansas.

"I think we've raised about $1,600 so far, and we're selling more [links] tonight," Linvell said, "and so we're going to try and increase that number."

Before the Greyhounds kicked off Friday evening, the school's administration allowed all the students to wear pink to their classes. The elementary school students even collected change to contribute to the cause.

The football team showed their support by wearing pink socks during the game, and the high school band sported pink ties with their uniforms.

"Tonight, we're also going to do a balloon release for the people who have died of breast cancer," said Emily Lowery, the cheerleading co-captain, "and we're going to hand out roses to the survivors that are at the game."

The project also inspired the community to get involved.

Purdy's Flowers & Gifts in Newport donated 10 percent of their sales one weekend to the cheerleaders, who also worked as celebrity employees at the store for a day.

"It's a very unique group of young ladies," said Sheridan Chadwell, the owner of Purdy's, "and they've really come together for a great cause and we're really proud of them."

The cheerleaders will count up how much they made this month and present their donation sometime soon.

They also hope to make this an annual benefit because of the overwhelming support they have received.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.