SYCAMORE – Each year Ethel “Jolly” Busch makes the long drive down from Wisconsin to Sycamore.
Busch, the mother of Sycamore volleyball coach Debbie Klock, has her choice of Spartan volleyball games to attend, but she makes sure to come down for the same event each year: Volley for the Cure.
Both Sycamore and DeKalb hosted Volley for the Cure events on Tuesday during crucial Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference matches. Sycamore defeated Yorkville, 25-20, 25-21, while Kaneland beat the Barbs, 25-20, 29-31, 25-20.
Klock said this was the fifth year Sycamore has hosted the event as Volley for the Cure has become a state-wide event put on by many volleyball programs throughout Illinois.
“I think this is a wonderful way of doing it,” Busch said. “I come clear from Wisconsin for this because it’s just important to me.”
Busch was one of many women honored before Tuesday night’s varsity match. Sycamore handed out flowers to all the cancer survivors in attendance.
Those who lost their battle with cancer were listed in the game program.
“I like it because I want people to be aware of the same thing, early detection,” said Robyn Garbes, a cancer survivor and mother of Sycamore senior volleyball player Ratasha Garbes. “I caught it early enough so I didn’t have to do chemo.”
Leading up to Tuesday’s volleyball games, Sycamore recruited sponsors for the event and sold t-shirts. The team held a raffle and was hoping to raise more than the $3,400 they did last year.
“My mom has cancer and I do everything I can to support and find a cure for cancer,” Sycamore sophomore volleyball player Mallory Wolf said. “It’s really nice having everyone here.”
DeKalb and Sycamore played each other in their first Volley for the Cure event five years ago. This year, the Barbs also sold t-shirts and coach Ben Fisher noted some players individually were able to sell up to 25 shirts to family and friends. They put on a bake sale, selling pink ribbon cookies during the game, and also hosted a silent auction and 50-50 raffle.
“The girls are definitely grasping the idea,” Fisher said. “We were trying to build into them with that sort of stuff that there are things out here that are more important than playing volleyball and winning volleyball matches. I think they gained clarity on this.”
Kaneland helped the cause by buying pink t-shirts for every player in its volleyball program. Sycamore, Yorkville and DeKalb each wore pink jerseys during their matches.
All proceeds from both events benefited Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“I want those girls to be aware from age 20 and up, you can have this,” Busch said. “It’s a killer. It can happen with anybody.”