KINGSTON — The Greater Nanticoke Area vs. Lake-Lehman football game on Oct. 18 might have been a bust for the Trojans, but four GNA players left the stadium victorious.
The game ended with Lake-Lehman winning 62-13, but Nanticoke seniors Joe Shimko, 17, Frank Marcinkowski, 17, Brad Yanus, 18, and Tyler Myers, 17, cleaned up that night by covering the stands with pink.
For their senior-year projects the students pulled off a record-setting fundraiser feat for their high school, collecting $9,181 selling T-shirts emblazoned with sponsor names and the slogan “Rush for the Cure.”
The money they raised was turned over Thursday to the Medical Oncology Associates’ Prescription Assistance Fund. The fund is managed by the oncology clinic and assists cancer patients in paying for prescriptions and nutritional supplements.
The students were carrying on a tradition that started two years ago when player Christian Stevenson decided to raise money for cancer to cap his high school career, Shimko said.
Yanus said he never expected they would succeed like they did.
“I’m glad we did,” Yanus said. “And everyone’s pretty proud of us. We thought we would make about $5,000, but no where near what we did.”
The guys solicited donations from past contributors in Nanticoke for seed money. They printed a first round of T-shirts to sell in the school hallways and during football games. Then they printed a second batch, then a third until they lost count of just how many T-shirts they printed.
“At one point, it was around 500,” Marcinkowski said. “But I’m sure it went farther than that.”
They sold pink shoelaces and pink ball caps, and during the pink-out game they had pink-frosted cupcakes and cookies — anything pink that they could swap for a couple bucks.
Yanus said the selling started slowly, but the deadline approaching started breaking down the inhibitions for hard selling.
“In the beginning, we had a little trouble selling,” Yanus said. “But once it came closer to the deadline, we started selling them at the football games.”
They sold from September through October, but the blitz began just before the Lake-Lehman game, Shimko said.
“We really pushed it two weeks before the game,” he said.
Marcinkowski said that for him the fundraiser meant a little bit more than earning credits for graduation.
“After I agreed to doing it, my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Marcinkowski said. “So it kind of motivated me more to do it, because I knew how it felt.”