CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Carl Junction sophomore Jamie Evans already has long days between going to school, volleyball practice and doing homework. But she still finds time in the evening to create colorful pen toppers out of duct tape that are sold to benefit a good cause.
It takes about 10 minutes to create each tulip-shaped topper, and this year, she made about 250, raising more than $200 that was donated to the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation.
Her contribution was part of a $6,000 check that was presented to the foundation by the Carl Junction High School volleyball team earlier this month. The presentation took place during the team’s annual Pink Night event, which raised an additional $1,175 for the cause.
“I was so humbled and overwhelmed by that dollar amount,” said Sharon Clark, president of Hope 4 You. “That will pay for a lot of mammograms.”
Over the past several years, the foundation has donated nearly $250,000 to local hospitals and Show Me Healthy Women to help women pay for screenings
The volleyball team and the girls’ parents also sold pink T-shirts that had a list of sponsors on the back, which helped raise a large portion of the donations. The team also has an annual pancake feed, and during Pink Night, gift baskets were raffled to raise extra money.
“It’s so important to us that we do more than play volleyball,” said coach Sarah Wall.
Through fundraising, the team not only raises money for a good cause, Wall said, but they also learn more about early detection from honorary coaches who are breast cancer survivors.
The amount donated by the team continues to increase each year. Parent Denise King said the team raised about $4,500 last year, and this year, an idea to make some of the T-shirts with volleyball players on them and others with football players helped boost sales.
“HOPE 4 You is a local foundation, and we think it’s amazing that the money can stay here,” said King, whose daughter is the team’s manager. “And of course, we love Sharon, and we want to do well for her.”
Clark, the town’s postmaster, is also a breast cancer survivor. Last year, the post office sold $47,747 worth of stamps that raise money for breast cancer research, making the post office the winner of a national sales competition.
Evans, who donated $178 last year, said she hopes to raise even more money for the foundation next year.
“Sharon does so much for the volleyball team, HOPE 4 You and the community,” Evans said. “She’s also a big inspiration to me.”
But Clark said, for her, it’s reversed.
“How many sophomores are going to make ink pens with duct tape to raise money?” Clark asked. “She’s the inspiration to me.”
The HOPE 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 2007. “HOPE” is an acronym for Help, Outreach, Prevent and Educate.