Mercer County Community College women's basketball players Mary Kate Madonia (left) and Cassie Filipowicz (right), with Assistant Women's Basketball Coach Jane Berlinger (center) at the Mercer County Breast Cancer Awareness Softball Tournament fundraiser.
WEST WINDSOR – Two Mercer County Community College (MCCC) women’s basketball players found time between practice and their studies to give back to the community through the support of a very worthy cause – the battle against breast cancer.
Freshmen Mary Kate Madonia and Cassie Filipowicz, both of Hamilton, joined Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Jane Berlinger at the Mercer County Breast Cancer Awareness Softball Tournament in October, a benefit to raise funds for local breast cancer charities. Among the beneficiaries are Breast Intentions and the Breast Cancer Resource Center of the YWCA Princeton, as well as a local woman recently diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer.
The tournament included children’s activities, a silent auction, and a raffle that took place during softball games featuring local women’s teams. The three volunteers worked the crowd during the tournament, helping to raise nearly $1,500.
“Mary Kate and Cassie were both very invested and so helpful,” Berlinger said. “They talked with survivors and women battling cancer right now, and provided them with words of encouragement. They did an amazing job, had a fun day and made their coach very proud of them.”
Berlinger became involved with the event through a friend, Ashley Diaz, a breast cancer survivor who volunteers at the tournament.
“Ashley and her family have been so good to MCCC's annual basketball breast cancer fundraiser we host each February, and for us to be able to have this awesome opportunity to give back to them for their generosity was wonderful,“ Berlinger said.
Despite inclement weather, Berlinger couldn’t be happier with the efforts of Madonia and Filipowicz.
“Cassie and Mary Kate jumped at the opportunity and no amount of rain would get in our way,” she said. “With nearly $1,500 raised in five hours, I believe all who worked this event did a great job.
“In the end, the winners of this tournament are the benefactors who will use this money to fight, help and win the battle against breast cancer.”