April 19, 2012
HOUSTON - A record crowd of 1,785 was on hand to witness the Houston softball program in their Sixth Annual Striking Out Breast Cancer Game with the proceeds of the event benefitting the Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation. A record sum of $11,448 was generated by the UH softball program, fans and participants, and a check presentation will take place during the Cougars last home series against Southern Miss on May 5.
The majority of that total was raised through items purchased from the silent auction. Auction items included signed apparel by professional athletes, tickets and experiences to professional sports organization in the city (Houston Rockets, Astros and Texans) as well as a host of other unique items including each game-worn pink helmets and jerseys worn by the Cougars.
For head coach Kyla Holas, this was the sixth year the Cougars were the host of this unique event.
"Each year the outcome of the event has gotten better and better - that's a testament to the cause we're trying to support more than anything done on our part," said Holas.
"There are so many people that step up and support us from around the city of Houston, as well as the support staff from the athletic department. A lot of people have put in a lot of work for this event and it's something I'm proud to be a part of."
Even the umpires from the game pitched in and donated their checks to the cause, as well as donning pink umpire uniforms during the game.
Tory Teykl, Director for Marketing, Promotions and Sales, was an integral part of the planning for the event.
"The Striking Out Breast Cancer Softball game was an event that I had been looking forward to working since being involved with marketing the softball program," said Teykl.
"This single game is one of the premier athletic events that we host here at Houston. It was amazing to get to see all of our hard work pay off right in front of your eyes. Not many people are a part of a record-breaking attendance or record breaking donation dollars raised. That is something to be proud of for all involved."
"It's events like this that pull everyone together - the support staff, the team, the community - all for a great cause. It is very neat to see how big this event has become. We couldn't have done it without those that started it six years ago, and I look forward to continuing to grow this game and working with Susan G. Komen to raise awareness for Breast Cancer."
Houston was one of many softball programs across the nation participating in a Striking Out Cancer event, and the total raised ($11,448) was just $500 short of the most donated by any NCAA school in the nation.
The Cougars fell to the No. 5 Texas Longhorns in the game.