Hello Gorgeous founder Kim Baker (second, left) receives the Dig Pink check from Kathryn Kapcheck (left) and Gabrielle Maiolo (third, left) with assistant volleyball coach Lori Elliott. Culver photo/Jan Garrison.
November 11, 2014

When three Culver Girls Academy sophomore volleyball players heard that the “Dig Pink” cancer fund-raising promotion started by last year’s senior class may not continue, they decided to pick up the challenge and continue the tradition.

Kathryn Kapcheck, Allison Stathakis, and Gabrielle Maiolo worked with the volleyball coaches to make the home game against Knox the “Dig Pink” event. During the game, donations were collected, raffle tickets for two game balls were sold, and the revenue from concessions were dedicated to the event. Each volleyball player wore a pink shirt and between the junior varsity and varsity games, the girls introduced or talked about someone close to them who is a cancer survivor or battling cancer.

“We did it last year and nobody was going to pick it up,” Maiolo said. “The freshmen didn’t know about, so we saw it as the perfect opportunity for us.”

we saw it as the perfect opportunity for us

Action from the Dig Pink game in October. CGM Photography/Grant Munroe

Action from the Dig Pink game in October. CGM Photography/Grant Munroe

The evening raised $370, which was donated to Hello Gorgeous, a non-profit organization that provides complimentary, professional makeovers and cosmetic education for women battling cancer. Founded in South Bend, Hello Gorgeous is no stranger to the Culver community. The organization’s special mobile unit has been present at earlier Relays For Life and the organization has worked with four Culver Academies staff members, including assistant volleyball coach Lori Elliott.

Maiolo and Kapcheck presented a check to founder Kim Becker on Monday. Becker explained to the girls that Hello Gorgeous works with affiliated salons in various communities. The salons go through specialized training and each salon is asked to perform 12 Hello Gorgeous experiences per year. In just its eighth year of existence, Becker said the non-profit has been able to work with salons across the United States. She said there are affiliated salons in or near Maiolo’s hometown of San Diego and Kapcheck’s hometown of Mount Prospect, Ill.

While the “Dig Pink” event was conducted during October, traditionally tied to breast cancer awareness, Becker said Hello Gorgeous works with women battling all cancers. The women are first nominated by family and friends. If selected, each woman is treated to a day of spa services such as a manicure, pedicure, facial, and seated massage. The woman is also given instruction in new makeup application and hair care (or hair substitution) methods advantageous to her individual issues.

Before her day is over, the salon staff makes certain the woman understands how to reproduce her new look on her own. She is given a supply of the cosmetics, skincare and nail products used to complete her services. There is no charge for the products, which is what the girls’ donation will be used to cover.

Becker said the goal is certify two salons in each community in the United States in order to assist 500,000 women each year.

Maiolo, Kapcheck, and Stathakis, who is from Northville, Mich., plan to conduct “Dig Pink” again next season as juniors, then use the event as their senior service practicum the following year.

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