The History of the Pink Zone

Play 4Kay®, formerly known as the WBCA Pink Zone®, began in 2007 as an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women’s basketball, on campuses and in communities. The late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women’s basketball coach, served as the catalyst for the initiative after her third recurrence of breast cancer in 2006.

In 2007, more than 120 schools unified for this effort and helped make the inaugural year a success. In 2008, more than 1,200 teams and organizations participated, reaching more than 830,000 fans and raising more than $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. The 2009 campaign raised more than $1.3 million, reached more than 912,000 fans, unified more than 1,600 participating teams and organizations, and saw 56+ schools break attendance records at their event. In 2010, more than 1,800 participants came together to surpass $1,045,000 in donations and reached more than 922,000 fans across the nation. Over 22 schools broke attendance records through their participation. The 2011 efforts raised more than $650,000 specifically for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund thanks to the efforts of over 1,300 participants. In 2012 over $1.2 million in grant aid was given to three different foundations. A total of 6 grants were given to various organizations totaling over $1.4 million from 2013-2015.

Overall, the WBCA Pink Zone has raised nearly $4 Million and has unified more than 6,000 participants in only seven years.

Notre Dame’s Involvement with the Pink Zone

The Pink Zone game on February 12th will feature numerous informational booths and donation opportunities for fans to contribute to the fight against breast cancer, with the highlight being the always-memorable halftime ceremony to honor those who have been touched by (and in many cases, conquered) the disease. Last year, Notre Dame raised more than $100,000 through its Pink Zone game for the Foundation of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, lifting its eight-year donation total to more than three quarters of a million dollars.

Funds raised from this year’s Pink Zone events at Notre Dame will be donated nationally to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and locally to the Foundation of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Women’s Task Force, Secret Sisters Society and Young Survivors Group.