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A game changer

- Last modified: April 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

If you have ever been involved in a charity event and thought it was a lot of work and time, I’m sure you agree that it was time well worth spent.

And the networking connections made along the way can sometimes be the greatest bonus to an already rewarding experience, connections that can pave the way to a successful career.

Last year at this time, I was preparing to put on an event that would turn out to be a complete culmination of my long journey to self-fulfillment and accomplishment.

It wasn’t the typical event someone might expect from a 41 year-old woman, though – or, should I say, from a 41-year old college senior.

Yes, I ventured off to college at a later date in life to try to secure a bachelor’s degree, a goal that at times felt impossible to attain.

However, in order to graduate, I had to come up with a senior project.

Powder Puff for Pancreatic Cancer was its name, and flag football was its game. With 40-plus year-old women and men, that is.

Thanks to my passion for community involvement and charity work, I chose to create an event that would reunite and cultivate friendships and bring together an entire school district and community. And it would be dedicated to the memory of a close friend and teammate who passed away from pancreatic cancer. The funds raised from the event would be donated toward helping to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

In case you’re not familiar with powder puff football, traditionally the girls play flag football, while the men cheer. And by cheering, they dress in full-on cheerleading skirts, with wigs, makeup and accessories galore.

The players and cheer boys for the event were women and men from the 1980s graduating classes of the two secondary schools in the district where I attended high school. I was amazed at how quickly both schools jumped at the chance to be involved, even with the deep-rooted, longstanding rivalry they share.


When it was all said and done, I got an “A” on my project and I finally achieved my lifelong dream of a bachelor’s degree.

But much more than that, I rekindled old friendships, while making many new ones, and helped to bring the community together for a good cause and to remember a good friend.

But ultimately, I gave my two children the best and most influential experience of their lives: watching their mom succeed.

I now have a successful career that I truly believe is a result of the networking connections that were cultivated out of the creation, organization and implementation of Powder Puff for Pancreatic Cancer.


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