Paying tribute in pink

LIHU‘E — The Hanapepe Colts and Kapa‘a Eagles saw pink, Sunday, at Vidinha Stadium.

“It’s October and pink is for Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Sherri Agosto, president of the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League. “I saw the Hanapepe boys with their pink socks and joked with them, ‘No wonder I couldn’t find my socks this morning.’”

Similarly, the Kapa‘a Eagles Junior Pee Wee players donned uniform pink socks, completing their ensemble with a pink ribbon emblazoned on their helmets.

Pink ribbons fluttered atop the heads of the Kapa‘a Tiny Mites cheerleaders, their little voices chirping in unison, “October is for breast cancer awareness.”

Cheri Bagain, a cheer coach with the Lihu‘e Patriots JPW cheer squad, said they got their pink shoelaces Friday and will have them on all the girls’ shoes by the next game.

“This initiative is not a national Pop Warner one,” Agosto said. “It’s just for Kaua‘i.”

The pink ribbons emerged three years ago when Holly Camara, a cheer coach and volunteer with the Kekaha Pop Warner Association, lost her fight against cancer, Aug. 31, 2008, after battling the disease for over a year.

Camara, herself a cheerleader in high school and advancing to become a coach at the high school as well as Pop Warner levels, teamed with Gail Thompson of the Koloa Pop Warner Association to pump life into the annual island-wide Pop Warner cheer competition.

This was in addition to the countless hours she devoted to the Pop Warner program as a volunteer.

Her mother, Millie Ah Hee, serves as the scholastic coordinator for the KPWFL.

In remembrance and tribute, the pink comes out in October — breast cancer awareness month — as it has for the past few years.

Kaua‘i joins a national trend. From coaches’ caps to players’ cleats and officials’ whistles, other sports also went pink on Sunday, Associated Press reported.

In support of breast cancer awareness, the color will be worn on the field and on the sidelines during all NFL games throughout October.  

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer, states the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website.

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