trainer Lisa Camillone and women's soccer coach Michelle
Windsor, N.J. -- When women's soccer coach Michelle Ogborn-Haywood
joined the Mercer coaching staff this year, she brought along
a heartfelt cause that has now become a cause for her team.
Each year, Ogborn-Haywood's friend, Janeen Gondek, serves
as director of the Breast Cancer Awareness Softball Tournament
at Mercer County Park, held this year October 8 and 9. The
event includes music, giveaways - and lots of softball action
for 65 men and women's teams.
As part of this special weekend, Michelle and Janeen have
traditionally spent the Friday evening beforehand stuffing
"gift bags" for all those who participate in the
tournament, a task that generally lasts well into the night.
This year Michelle appealed to her Vikings players for assistance
and 17 of her girls answered the call. With all those helping
hands, the job got done in less than an hour.
"I talked to my team about how important this cause is
to me - my mother is a breast cancer survivor - and I asked
them to help. So we went over to the park after practice,
on a Friday night no less, and put all the support vendors
"stuff" into the bags...candles, chocolate, chips,
pretzels, bracelets, candies, car magnets, breast cancer literature
and more. A job that usually takes two of us hours only took
about 50 minutes That is tremendous."
According to Athletics Director John Simone, this is the first
time an MCCC women's soccer team has ever done this type of
community service. "I'm hoping to be able to take my
team there every year to help," Ogborn-Haywood says.
"It's a great cause, and with everyone working together,
you really get the feeling of being part of something huge."
Even trainer Lisa Camillone joined in with her daughter for
the feel-good, team-building outing.