By Kris Freeman
Public Address Announcer for White House Football
Friday night, the White House football team will wear an alternate color jersey for the first time in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Cheatham County. The Blue Devils will join many teams across the state of Tennessee who have worn pink for breast cancer awareness, with special pink jerseys provided by Farm Bureau Insurance.
Before the game, parents can buy their son’s jersey for $50.00. Any remaining jerseys unsold will be auctioned off for breast cancer awareness, through the American Cancer Society and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
I will be wearing pink, and you should do the same. If for nothing else, show once again the tremendous show of unity among our city, our school and our community for a great cause. Last weekend, I also got the privilege of participating in the five-mile Making Strides for Breast Cancer event at LP Field in Nashville with over 35,000 people.
Almost one year ago, on Thanksgiving weekend, breast cancer became real to me on a personal level. While I have grandparents who have battled cancer, it is in more recent time that October has been elevated as an awareness month for the disease, specifically in wearing pink.
Admittedly, I don’t like it when companies try to gain a marketing advantage by wearing pink. I would be angry if anyone was trying to make money off the color pink by using breast cancer awareness as a method to enhance a brand. Sometimes, I think the National Football League gets a little more fashion conscious, than cause conscious, but that’s a slippery slope and you are welcome to disagree with that opinion. Often times, I wonder if players who are wearing pink socks, wrist bands and towels are after the cool more than the cause.
But this time last year, a close personal friend of ours ended her earthly battle with breast cancer after a second round of it. Beating it the first time, she was baptized at our church on the same day as my daughter (December 26, 2010) and just a few weeks later, gave her testimony as being a breast cancer survivor.
Then, the cancer returned. And for over two years, she battled every step of the way. Her name was Traci McAughty, and her shirts “I Wear Pink for Traci” were seen in many places in the community with benefits for her “Right to Fight Foundation” in 2012 and 2013. Traci attempted to fight her hardest with a last effort in 2013 at the Cancer Treatment Center of America. Her last flight home from Chicago resulted in a short stay at home, a return to the hospital and eventually a few days at Alice Hospice care where she fought to the very end.
Traci taught me courage, faith and endurance. Her fight models that of many people you know, friends, family and acquaintances and celebrities. Traci was a servant at our church and led our hospitality and first impressions team. She served each week as a volunteer and recruited donations of food and beverages to run the counter at no budget, and we never charged a dime for anything we served. It was all done for free, the way serving should be.
Though she did not grow up in White House, Traci moved here to raise her family from California. She worked at The Barbeque Place as a server, and was a former school teacher.
Traci was honored by the White House Chamber of Commerce as the 2013 Citizen of the Year in White House. This was approximately eight months before her passing. She was a mother, a grandmother, a servant, a fighter and a friend.
So for no other reason than the one that is obvious, I have a deep appreciation for White House football making the effort Friday night to make a difference.
That’s my story, and so chances are, you have a good reason, too.
For one night, let’s unify together for something more than just football. We are White House, and together great things happen.
A big thanks to our friend Tal Plumlee and Farm Bureau Insurance who are making this possible, and if you would like to know more, click here to see what it’s all about.
I’m honored to call the game Friday and will be putting my best pink shirt on before I get the privilege of putting my voice to a great cause.
Fight like a girl, Devils. Fight like a girl. And win the bigger battle that matters Friday, not just the game.
Kris Freeman is the public address announcer and has been a volunteer support staff member for White House football for 18 years. He is the pastor of Revolution Church and the vice-president of the White House Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed in this article are his alone and do not express the views of White House High School or the Sumner County Board of Education.