The stakes for the next Capuchino High softball game have now expanded off the field, as today's 4 p.m. rematch with visiting division rival Burlingame High will benefit breast cancer research.
Senior captain Jennifer Lewis came up with the idea for the during spring break along with her father, Dave. They thought about doing an event similar to what San Francisco State University's softball team did by asking nonprofit organizations to help the cause.
"When I first told my teammates, they were all really supportive and they started pitching ideas on how to help," said Jennifer, 17. "They loved the thought of raising money and giving back to the community for a nice cause."
Jennifer reached out to Swing For Life, a nonprofit organization based in Utah which contributes to breast cancer research. She contacted Kathy Howa, who founded Swing For Life 10 years ago—months after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The organization has raised close to a million dollars to date for the cause.
"I wrote an email to her about a month ago and ever since we've been exchanging emails," Jennifer said. "She was very open and up for it. She's been so helpful and has fully supported this cause and given us stuff for this event."
Jennifer has managed to make all the arrangements in a span of five weeks, including printing sponsor sheets, ribbons, pink spray paint and banners for the event. A merchandise booth will be set up behind the backstop, equipped with necklaces, wristbands, hats, visors, chapsticks, light-up rings, magnets and mini teddy bears, among other items.
The shortstop also reached out to friend Gretchen Diekman, who plays center field for Burlingame High, informing her that she had chosen the game against each other for this nonprofit cause.
"I thought it was a great way to help out a nice cause and improve awareness," said Gretchen, 17. "I didn't hesitate to support her."
Gretchen and her teammates will wear ribbons and headbands in the game to support the cause.
"We're both really competitive, but this game definitely has a more lighthearted feel to it given that it is for something beyond the teams involved," Gretchen added.
Capuchino (12-12, 4-4 PAL Bay) is coming off a three-game winning streak after defeating Half Moon Bay 2-1 on Monday. The team has outscored their last three opponents 25-3 and is sitting in third place.
After struggling with the bats for most of the season, the Mustangs will try to avenge their worst loss of the season, when Burlingame defeated Capuchino 14-4 on March 29.
"Our hitting is improving and we're starting to put it together," Jennifer said. "So hopefully we can keep doing the same and win in front of our home crowd."
The event's goal is to raise between $1,000 to $2,000. Attendees can show support by either donating cash or writing checks.