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From Hoops to Hope: ACHS's inspiring journey in cancer fundraising

Assiniboia Composite High School senior girl's basketball team are in 15th year of raising awareness and funds for cancer causes hosting their annual pink game weekend.

ASSINIBOIA — Assiniboia Composite High School continues their unwavering commitment to making a lasting impact in cancer fundraising via basketball games.

Feb. 2, the ACHS senior girls will continue the tradition of their annual pink game that started in 2009. Proceeds are earmarked for cancer causes with this year’s proceeds going to Ross Pomrenke. Ross is the father of two former captains of the ACHS senior girl’s basketball team.

The pink game initiative caught on across the province and Assiniboia event organizer, Al Wandler, cites totals from these games since inception totalling $480,251.50, with the ACHS contribution to that remarkable total coming to $97,721.82.

Assiniboia held two game fundraisers in 2023 making $5,652.26 in Feb. of 2023 and another $13,854.86 in their second game.       

The 2024 pink game will showcase the ACHS girl Rockets taking on Balgonie. The event is held in conjunction with the senior girls’ tournament, this year including seven other teams.

The first pink uniforms were purchased in 2009 by the ACHS SRC. The current uniforms were purchased by Al Wandler and his brother Sean in honour of their parents, Art and Edna, who both passed away from cancer.

What are the ripple effects in both school and community from such an amazing initiative? Wandler responds, “It is a massive event in our community that everyone takes part in. We have thousands of dollars in merchandise being donated from many businesses and community members for our online auction and penny parade raffle.”

Wandler affirms that this event has become larger than just a high school event as the local Kinette Club has helped out a great deal. The pink game encompasses the whole community.

“Also, through our Pay It Forward pink uniform campaign, the pink game has spread to 29 other communities across the province. It has shown our players that they are part of something bigger than themselves and it shows members in our community that high school students can do great things,” adds Wandler.

In his 15th year of organizing the annual pink game and the fundraising efforts, Wandler says this will be his last at the helm. He offers his gratitude to ACHS staff and students, as well as the Town of Assiniboia for their unwavering support shown through the past 15 years knowing the event would not be the success it was without the community efforts, and for that he is humbled.