Montclair’s Hannah Roche spikes the ball against Montclair Kimberly Academy during the
Mounties’ match against MKA Friday evening at Montclair High School.

by Andrew Garda

The Montclair Mounties girls volleyball team held their annual “Dig Pink” night on Friday, Oct. 18 in the Montclair High School main gym.

The event takes place during a night of volleyball games between all levels of volleyball teams from freshman all the way up to varsity, and is between Montclair and Montclair Kimberley Academy. 

It raised money for the Side-Out Foundation, a non-profit breast cancer charity that raises awareness and funds for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, mainly through volleyball-related events. 

Mounties head coach Pam Reilly said the atmosphere was electric as both MHS and MKA fans showed up in large numbers to support the event. 

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“The hype was really big this year,” she said Tuesday night after Montclair had fallen against Millburn 2 sets to none in the Essex County Tournament. “Maybe their fans had something else to do last year or didn’t have anything to do this year.  But they had a bunch of fans in there this year, which hyped up the actual event.”

This is the second year in a row the Mounties have joined with MKA for the event, after several years when Montclair played other teams.

“When I first started, we were playing with [MKA] and then our girls decided they wanted to break off and do their own fundraising effort,” Reilly said. “So we had a bunch of different teams come and play for about a four year span. We went back to playing MKA last year, and it proved to create a lot more excitement around the event.”

Reilly said that each year the Mounties raise nearly $5,000 for Side-Out and they are hopeful that by the end of the month they will reach that goal again this year. Money is raised by donations at the entrance, “Dig Pink” T-shirts sales and raffles.

“We always do a great job with the fundraising, and the community always supports us tremendously,” she said. “They provide all types of gift baskets and contributions to the cause. People buy the Dig Pink shirts, that’s a big thing. One day we’re hoping to get a complete pink-out where everyone in the facility has on the Dig Pink t-shirts.”

It takes a lot of work to put on the event every year, but Reilly said the program receives no shortage of willing helpers.

Pink-clad MKA players celebrate a block during their ‘Dig Pink’ win over Montclair High on Friday, Oct 25, 2019.

“Everybody works hard, all the young ladies who were involved,” Reilly said. “Especially Ms. [Christina] Martinez, who is our coordinator. They all do a fantastic job so, it was excellent.”

While technically the fundraiser finishes at the end of October, Reilly said that in years past they have seen people donate as late as November.

Reilly said she encourages anyone to donate to Side-Out at any time, using the Mounties link,
“I’m sure they’re not going to not take your donation,” she said.