B-P boys soccer program hosts community event after year-long hiatus
Patriot Pink Out is a long-standing tradition in the Broadalbin-Perth community that has helped to raise more than $60,000 for the American Cancer Society. The initiative started in 2009 as a way to honor and recognize B-P High School Principal Margaret Robin Blowers’ fight against cancer. Blowers eventually lost her battle to cancer in 2015, but the Pink Out tradition has continued, with Blowers’ larger-than-life memory still serving as the inspiration behind the annual event.
B-P boys varsity soccer coach Brian Henry and B-P kindergarten teacher and soccer parent Kristie Schwartz have been involved with the Pink Out since its inception.
“I definitely use the soccer program as a tool to teach life lessons,” Henry said, adding that the annual Pink Out has given his athletes the chance to “forge a strong team bond” and “provided them with a great opportunity to pay it forward.”
Schwartz has worked at Broadalbin-Perth for 22 years and remembers Blowers as “always happy and always smiling.” “She was the epitome of what B-P is,” she added.
The event has grown bigger each year and has turned into what Schwartz describes as a “festival for the community, with a sprinkling of soccer.”
Indeed, the backdrop for the day is soccer, highlighted by a modified boys game at 3 p.m., a JV game at 5 p.m. and a varsity match at 7 p.m. All of the athletes wear pink uniforms for the event. There are also vendors, food trucks, raffles, and a fun run for students ages 12 and younger. Cancer survivors will be recognized at half time of the varsity game and the Pink Out will culminate with a fireworks display at the end of the evening.
Because the event was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, Henry says people are especially eager to have it back this year. “The Patriot Pink Out is one of the biggest community events of the whole year,” he said. “This event gives hope to people and brings the entire community together for a common cause.”
A few years ago, Henry and Schwartz found a way to extend the event to more than just one day — and raise even more money — by letting students “pink” local houses in the weeks leading up to the main Pink Out event. Members of the soccer team work together to post pink ribbons in community members’ yards, accompanied by a note proclaiming that their yard has been “pinked.” The letter also explains that a Pink Out donation is the only way to get the pink ribbons off their lawn and move them on to someone else’s house.
The entire community is welcome to participate in Pink Out activities scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9 at the B-P Jr./Sr. High School campus.