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Pink Night: Local volleyball players compete to raise money for breast cancer prevention

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Savannah Vascular Institute and a local all-girls’ school are encouraging people to think pink as they raise awareness for breast cancer.

On Thursday, St. Vincent’s Academy hosted its annual Pink Night volleyball tournament to support prevention of the disease.

Four senior volleyball players — Doree Herb, Catherine Moore, Emma Cowart and Anastasia Thaller — led their personally selected teams in a round-robin tournament play and fundraising competition.

The charity tournament and silent auction honored Paulina Tawil, a 22-year Catholic teacher whose three daughters graduated from St. Vincent’s.

She passed away in September after a long battle with stage four breast cancer. Organizers say they want to honor Tawil’s memory and raise awareness for people who are facing a similar fight.

“She was a really kind soul,” St. Vincent’s senior and Pink Night co-organizer Emma Cowart told WSAV NOW.

Paulina Tawil, whose three daughters graduated from St. Vincent’s Academy, died of breast cancer at age 53.

Cowart says Tawil was her fourth-grade teacher at Blessed Sacrament School. “She greeted everyone with a smile and she was personable,” she recalled of her former educator.

Women in the United States have a one-in-eight chance of developing invasive breast cancer, according to the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition.

The four seniors who organized Pink Night say all of the event’s proceeds will go to the Mary Telfair Mammography Fund to provide free mammograms and early detection support.

The students who put this year’s Pink Night event together say they recognize that affording mammograms isn’t easy for everyone.

“Personally, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years ago, and we were fortunately able to pay for the mammograms that are literally life-saving for multiple women,” volleyball player and St. Vincent’s student Doree Herb told WSAV NOW.

“Some women don’t have this opportunity, so I think that this night especially is really special for people that are in desperate need of these,” Herb said.

In addition to the volleyball tournament, Pink Night included silent auction packages, raffles and donations from the event’s sponsor, Savannah Vascular Institute, for each block made by any team at the event.

The 2020 Pink Night made history, shattering the record of $10,000 raised in former Pink Night events. Team Emma Cowart raised almost $6,000 and was named the fundraising champion.

The senior teams combined raised $13,000 for the Mary Telfair Mammography Fund at St. Joseph’s/Candler.

St. Vincent’s has hosted its Pink Night event for over 15 years.

To donate to the cause, visit this link.

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