The gym was packed, school spirit could not have been higher and the work of our student-run Athletic Leadership Council scored a huge victory for Mayfield.
It was 104 degrees in the shade—and we were having a BBQ. The freshmen, JV and Varsity volleyball teams were geared up for big games—and we lost. Plus, it wasn’t exactly prime time for a party—a school night for students and a blazing rush hour commute for parents.
None of that mattered.
After weeks of planning, Mayfield’s student-run Athletic Leadership Council and the Booster Club pulled off their wildly successful "Dig Pink" fundraiser and spirit match—a non-league volleyball game against Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy to raise money for the Cancer Support Community, Pasadena.
By the end of the evening every person in the standing-room-only gym claimed victory, thanks to the energetic vision of Mayfield students under the guidance of Athletic Director Lynda Gilbert and the Booster Club.
We raised more than $2,500 for the cancer support group. We also welcomed our FSHA friends to our beautiful campus for a game that showcased the skills of both teams.
“We couldn't have imagined anything better. We poured our heart and soul into the event, and it was awesome seeing so many girls from all grade levels supporting the Cubs,” said Kat Lopez ’18, one of the student leaders. “Okay, maybe winning the game would've been nice, but everything was so much more than that! It was a win-win for everyone!”
Head of School Kate Morin acknowledged our generous donors who contributed to new gym air conditioning and renovations, giving special thanks to our Mayfield "Champions," the Mayfield Booster Club, the Francis H. Clougherty Charitable Trust and the John and Dorothy Shea Foundation, who provided the leadership support for the gym project. A banner thanking all donors of $1,000 or more now hangs above the student section in the Sr. Mary Wilfrid Gymnasium.
Meg Symes, Executive Director of the local Cancer Support Community Pasadena, attended the game and said her organization was “so honored” to be the beneficiary of the donation, which she said will go a long way toward serving the needs of people with cancer and their families.
The mother of two Mayfield alums, Katherine ’06 and Sarah ’08, Mrs. Symes had not visited campus for several years. She said she was “blown away” by the Mayfield school spirit and sense of unity.
“Clearly, the girls are happy; Mayfield is thriving,” she said. “I am so grateful for all of this.”
Our students had sold pink cancer awareness t-shirts in advance and charged $5 admission to the game with all profits going to the cancer support group. Through the generosity of the Boosters (and the stamina of the dads behind the fiery grill), students ate for free, adding to the festivities.
In one poignant scene during the Varsity game former FHSA player Katherine Lund, who was forced to retire from volleyball after multiple concussions, joined her younger sister on the court to serve the first point of the match.
On Mayfield’s side of the net, Mrs. Gilbert and players exchanged emotional moments as they honored departing senior teammates.
With the mission-driven bonds of Catholic, all-girls education uniting FSHA and Mayfield, the event also showcased how girls working together for good are a force that can’t be stopped, Mrs. Morin said.
“There was something so special about this event that is will stay with us for a long time,” Mrs. Morin said. “The energy of our two schools together was exceptionally incredible. I am so glad that we could use this game to come together as sister Catholic schools.”
It felt like a reunion of sorts in the bleachers and at the BBQ.
“When FSHA arrived it was so wonderful to watch. All the girls knew each other because they have played club sports together or they go to the same parish or went to elementary school together,” said Mrs. Gilbert. “They were hugging and high-fiving each other.”
When the buzzer sounded and balls soared, the grit and talent of our athletes impressed those in the crowd whose raucous cheering left many hoarse days later.
The FHSA varsity team won 4/1 (28/26; 25/21; 23/25; 27/25) in a highly competitive match against Mayfield volleyball team, which is headed to the Prep League playoffs.
Mrs. Gilbert said that the subtext of the game and the work of the Athletic Leadership Council furthers one of Mrs. Morin’s initiatives that calls on Mayfield educators to work toward deeply developing our students as young women leaders of faith and service.
“I am so proud of the athletic council for just really working together and making this beyond successful,” Mrs. Gilbert said. “I am more proud of the Varsity team for the way they played. The game could have gone either way and our Cubs never once gave up the fight!”
For Kat, event co-chair Lauren Lo Coco ’18 and their fellow athletic council members, the event stands as a formative lesson that will stay with them for a lifetime.
“It shows how active young women are in our society,” Kat said. “It was wonderful that FSHA joined us for this event. It made it all that more meaningful.”