GLOCESTER — Hoop fans all over are well schooled in March Madness, which refers to the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at which anything is possible; Davids often defeat Goliaths.
At Ponaganset High School, there’s a unique kind of basketball tournament called Pink Madness, to spread breast cancer awareness throughout local communities.
The school held its second annual Pink Madness tournament on the weekend of Dec. 10-11.
Ponaganset High teacher Jenn Paolantonio collaborated with athletes and coaches for this year's tournament. All proceeds go directly to the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure, a three-day, 60-mile journey that promotes breast cancer awareness.
"With the success of last year’s first annual Pink Madness, we were thrilled to host the tournament again," said Paolantonio. "It was a pleasure to work with such amazing coaches, athletes and families that are willing to endorse such a great cause."
The tournament spanned two days and consisted of six teams.
"I want to thank everyone who came out and cheered on our players and supported a great cause,” added Paolantonio, “and to all of the faculty members and students who purchased ‘Go Pink or Go Home’ T-shirts to help support the cause."
With the overwhelming support of students and the community, Paolantonio said, this year's tournament raised $1,800 for breast cancer research.
She said the excitement and enthusiasm that filled the gym during the tournment weekend was "phenomenal."
"The Ponaganset cheerleaders did a beautiful job decorating the gym in pink and getting the crowd excited to cheer on our teams," Paolantonio said.
She lauded the Colasante family for volunteering their time to provide music for the tournament.
"Our visiting teams, Prout and Johnston, both commended our students and our community for organizing a tournament that supports a great cause," she added. "All teams were thrilled to be a part of it for the second year in a row and said that they are looking forward to participating in it again next year. I am proud of all of our players and fans for their tremendous support and excitement. It was great seeing the gym in pink."
Paolantonio said the tournament wouldn't have been a success without the commitment from coaches Mike Girard and Gary Martinelli along with Athletic Director Tom Marcello.
"It was a pleasure helping organize this tournament and rewarding to see our students and community coming together to support such a great cause as breast cancer awareness," Paolantonio said.