ESTEVAN - The Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS) Elecs senior girls’ basketball team is getting ready to host an annual fundraiser for the fight against cancer.
The Victor Elias Memorial Shoot for a Cure competition will be held March 4 and 5 at the ECS gymnasium. Coach Bridget Bjorndalen said the eight-team competition will be similar to what has been offered in the past.
“Everybody is supposed to be wearing pink, and we’re going to have our raffle table set up for raffle items and also for donations,” said Bjorndalen.
Proceeds from the tournament each year benefit someone who is battling cancer. This year’s recipient is Cara Hauber, whose daughter is a student at the Estevan Comprehensive School and a classmate of many members of the basketball team.
“We like to support each other as a community, and the school, the Comp., is a community. These kids know the student and are just trying to support her family,” said Bjorndalen.
Team members have been going to businesses in the community to secure raffle items. Bjorndalen said they usually have a very good selection of donations, and so it becomes a very popular part of the tournament.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, they won’t have a fundraising concession this year.
Bjorndalen is very familiar with the tournament. She was a member of the Elecs when it was first introduced as a fundraiser for cancer more than a decade ago. And then she has been involved as a coach for three years.
“It’s really amazing to see how much it has grown, how much it has expanded since Jessie (head coach Jessie Smoliak) has taken over as our senior girls’ basketball coach.”
Bjorndalen noted that this tournament is a big passion for Smoliak. Her father died from cancer a few years ago, and his name is now attached to it. When she was named the Saskatchewan Rattlers/Basketball Saskatchewan Coach of the Month for February, she cited the tournament as her greatest accomplishment as a coach.
“This is a tournament that she loves. It’s our favourite tournaments of the year, so it’s really close to our hearts,” said Bjorndalen.