One of the biggest weeks in high school sports has arrived, and it has nothing to do with the matchups on the field.
Monday signified the opening of Win-Win Week, the third-annual collaboration of the University of Oklahoma's Stephenson Cancer Center and the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.
The week — which actually extends well beyond seven days, with some schools still holding Win-Win activities in October — is geared to showcase cancer awareness and prevention, and prompting high school students to use their athletic events for the cause.
The fall sports of football, volleyball, softball, cross country and fall baseball are all used to promote cancer awareness and raise money for those fighting cancer.
So if you attend one of these games this week and beyond, you'll begin to notice athletes wearing pink wristbands, or ribbon stickers on helmets, or a variety of other symbols of the fight against cancer.
Though this is only the third year of the program, 120 different schools have participated, many of them taking part each of the first two years.
In those two years, more than $210,000 have been raised, and every dollar raised stays in Oklahoma.
The OSSAA will award a state tournament trophy to a school in each classification for the most effective programs. A presentation will be made by OU Heisman Trophy winners Steve Owens, Billy Sims and Jason White during a football state championship game in Stillwater later this year.
So far, 16 rooms in the Stephenson Cancer Center have been named by schools participating in Win-Win Week, an offer only made to schools raising more than $10,000. Thirteen schools have done it, three of them twice.
“Students may be motivated by someone they know,” said Von Allen, the Director of Development at the Stephenson Cancer Center. “But through their efforts, they are helping people they will likely never know.
“The true meaning of charity.”