BIG SKY – On Oct. 11, the Lone Peak High School volleyball teams raised awareness for breast cancer by wearing bright pink socks during their matches against Willow Creek. Ace Hardware–Big Sky donated the socks and sponsored the matches to help raise money for the Bozeman Deaconess Foundation.

The evening began with the Junior Varsity teams squaring off, resulting in a closely contested 3-1 victory for the Willow Creek Wildcats. Ace presented the MVP’s of each team with a pink volleyball by Baden, which included the breast cancer ribbon logo, as “Ace Hardware–Big Sky’s, Aces of the game.” LPHS freshman libero Julia Barton received the honor for the Big Horns.

The varsity match also went in favor of the Wildcats, who won 3-0, but again featured outstanding play and exciting, close scores. Senior middle blocker, Gabrielle Gasser took the “Aces of the Game” ball as the outstanding LPHS varsity player.

During the player introductions prior to the varsity match, the LPHS girls presented pink roses to Tina Barton, mother of Julia Barton. Tina is winning her battle with breast cancer, thanks to her treatments from the Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center.

Varsity head coach Sarah Griffiths approached the Bartons, saying the team wanted to do something special for this game, as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Coach Griffiths and JV Coach Erika Frounfelker, began planning for the event several weeks ago.

Tina and her husband Kevin Barton are the owners of Ace Hardware–Big Sky, and saw this as a great opportunity to help spread awareness of the disease and raise funds for the hospital.

“We are so touched by the show of support from our community and school,” Tina said. “The girls looked great in their pink socks and really played their hearts out. We are very proud of everyone involved in this program.”

Through raffle ticket sales, pledge ribbons and personal donations, the evening raised $1,113 for the Bozeman Deaconess Foundation and is earmarked to help make mammogram screening available to uninsured or underinsured women.

In a press release, the Bartons said they plan to continue supporting the Big Sky community in similar ways.

“We have a long history of supporting our school and we have plans to continue growing this type of community involvement written into our business plan going forward.”