Shooting And Cutting For The Cure

Laura Fox, head coach Jeff Speedy, and Caroline Healy, of the Varsity Reds women's basketball team, will have their hair cut in support of 'Shoot for the Cure,' part of UNB's 'Think Pink' weekend. (Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)
Laura Fox, head coach Jeff Speedy, and Caroline Healy, of the Varsity Reds women's basketball team, will have their hair cut in support of 'Shoot for the Cure,' part of UNB's 'Think Pink' weekend. (Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)

(FREDERICTON, NB) It’s ‘Think Pink’ weekend for the Varsity Reds. The annual combination of events where student-athletes show their support for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, raising funds and awareness.

‘Think Pink’ events will take place at Friday’s men’s and women’s basketball double-header against St. FX, at Saturday’s hockey game against UPEI, and Sunday’s women’s volleyball match versus the Universite de Moncton.

The highlight of those events will be haircuts, at half-time of the men’s basketball game on Friday.

Two fifth-year members of the Varsity Reds women’s team will have some of their hair cut. It will then be donated to a program that creates wigs for women who’ve lost their own hair during treatment for breast cancer.

Laura Fox(Halifax, NS) and Caroline Healy(Bedford, NS) will cut their hair. For Healy, this will be the second time she’s done this.

“I cut my hair in my third year because my best friend’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she beat it,” said Healy. “In October, she found out the cancer was back. That's why I’m doing this again.”

“This small contribution of my hair is really a way to draw attention to this horrible disease and get funding support to go towards finding a cure,” she said.

While Fox is in her fifth season with the women’s basketball team, this will be the first time she’s taken part in what’s become a Varsity Reds tradition.

Reluctant, until now, Fox was convinced to participate by head coach Jeff Speedy.

“I’ve been after her for years and she said if I grew mine out for four months she would cut hers,” said Speedy, who usually visits a barber shop every three weeks. He hasn’t had his hair cut since October. “My head feels like a mop and it’s driving me crazy.”

“It means a great deal when any of our student-athletes do this,” he said. “Laura has one of the best personalities of any player I’ve ever coached. To have her take this step, to really get behind this cause, is something that reminds me why I coach.”

Every Canadian university that fields a women’s basketball team hosts a “Shoot for the Cure” event. UNB’s “Shoot for the Cure” event comes as part of “Think Pink Weekend.”

Nationally, "Shoot for the Cure” has raised more than one million dollars over the last ten years.

Jeff Speedy has been at the forefront of that national effort, as the “Shoot for the Cure” project manager for the national university women’s basketball coach’s association.

He acknowledges his teams have embraced his dedication to “Shoot for the Cure.”

“Great people do great things and we’ve always had great people in this program,” said Speedy.

“Former Varsity Red Amanda Sharpe runs a Shoot for the Cure event in Grand Manan every year. They had it last week and raised just shy of $2000. So, if some of our players carry on the tradition wherever they live, we are making a difference, and that is what it’s all about.”

Along with cutting their hair, Fox and Healy have a gofundme page, where people can donate to the effort, with all money being forwarded to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Donations can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/ww-shoot-for-the-cure

At this weekend’s Varsity Reds basketball, hockey and volleyball games, student-athlete volunteers will be selling 50/50 tickets, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation mittens, and Varsity Reds-Stewart McKelvey Think Pink t-shirts. There will also be draws for a number of “Think Pink” items including a Valentine’s Day Package which features a night at a hotel, meals, chocolates, wine, wine glasses and a couples massage. All monies raised will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.