Last Wednesday, I was in a sweltering Washington, D.C., to attend the annual Congressional Women’s Softball game with Young Survival Coalition’s CEO Jennifer Merschdorf. This would be my first time attending the event, but it was apparent what a difference five years had made!
Members of the organizing committee told me how in 2009, the women of Congress played members of the political committees in front of a small crowd for the inaugural game.
Now in 2013, the Congressional Women’s Softball game has become one of the most anticipated events on the Hill, with women of Congress playing their new rivals, the Bad News Babes (women of the Washington Press Corp), and packing the Watkins Recreation Center with over 1,000 attendees!
Young Survival Coalition is so honored to be a part of this event.
As soon as we got to D.C., I could feel the energy surrounding this game. Jennifer and I were able to attend the last volunteer coordination meeting where we talked to them about YSC’s programs and where the money from the game would go.
Volunteers included staff from around the Hill, members of political committees and employees at various banks and law firms in the D.C. area. We were so thankful they were able to take the time from their incredibly hectic schedules to work the game and for showing such enthusiastic support for YSC.
Throughout the next few days as we met with players of both teams and their supporters, I was thrilled to experience the high energy surrounding this event. Journalists, politicians, staffers, interns and aides, all of whom regularly spar on the political battlefield, now come together in a truly bi-partisan effort to raise awareness that young women can and do get breast cancer.
Echoes of the Press Corps team captain Abby Livingston’s sentiments were heard, “I think what’s amazing is that you could not have had this game twenty years ago. It’s really great that there are this many women in Congress.”
The softball game introduces women on the teams to a small community of their peers who understand the political work culture of D.C., and can give advice and support to the same cause: supporting YOU, the young women affected by breast cancer.
Over a dozen young survivors from the Washington D.C. Face 2 Face (F2F) Network were present, meeting with some of our nation’s biggest lawmakers to strengthen the voice of the breast cancer community.
This year, it’s exciting to say that the organizing committee more than doubled their fundraising efforts and raised over $115,000! The money will go to providing education, support and empowerment to all young women affected by breast cancer across the nation.
Please take a moment to join me, my colleagues at YSC and all the young women we serve in thanking Kate Houghton, Atalie Ebersole and Natalie Buchanan of the organizing committee as well as the Congressional and Press teams for dedicating the past two months to preparing for and playing in last week’s game. A special thank you to our sponsors McDonald’s, Novartis, PepsiCo and Toyota and our many partners for their continued commitment. Last, but certainly not least, YSC’s D.C. F2F leader Erin Price-Schabert who organized the survivors’ participation and put a face to young women with breast cancer in D.C.
THANK YOU and until next year!
Learn more about the Congressional Women’s Softball game and check out the 2013 rosters at the official event website.