High School volleyball players team up for TBBCF
By KATHLEEN EDGECOMB
Nine years ago, the girl’s volleyball team at Norwich Technical High school started raising money for breast cancer. But when assistant coach Debbie Krodel discovered a portion of the money they gave to a national breast cancer non-profit went to overhead costs, they went local and began donating to the Terri Brodeur Foundation. TBBCF gives 100 percent of fundraising dollars to breast cancer research in the form of grants.
This past October, Krodel and her Norwich Tech Warriors donated $1,837 to TBBCF. In 2020, the donation was $850, and in 2019, it was $1,429.
Krodel – who coaches with her husband Tim Krodel – started hosting a “pink day” in October and selling baked goods at a home game. Then “it blew up” said Krodel, a special education teacher at the school.
The team now hosts a Pink Month during October, selling pink t-shirts and sweatshirts that boast “Warrior Pride.” The parents help with a bake sale during home games in October, and the team wears special pink uniform shirts for home games.
The girls also participate in TBBCF’s annual walking marathon as a spirit team, handing out drinks and snacks at one of the pit stops.
On a recent school day, many of the 667 students at the school wore something pink in support of the team and its efforts.
Autumn Lovett, co-captain of the team, with fellow senior Ashley Bill, said raising money for breast cancer research is a source of pride for the team and builds leadership skills.
“It gives meaning to what we do. And it’s super cool,” added Bill.
Principal Don Concascia supports Krodel’s efforts 100 percent. He said when he became principal, one of his first “executive orders” was to approve Pink Week.
“This teaches the kids that they are not the center of the world,” said Concascia, who showed his support by wearing pink striped socks. “It teaches them they need to give back … to give back to the community.”
The student body also collects canned goods for Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, and hosts sock drives and coat drives.
Players have graduated and younger students have taken their place, but the one constant has been Krodel, who is retiring at the end of the year after a 35-year career at the school.
“Finding a special ed teacher or a volleyball coach, that’s easy,” the principal said. “Finding someone to do all this – that’s going to be harder.”
But the volleyball players have pledged to carry on the fundraising. And Krodel said she’d be willing to come back in October to help out.