The Fighting Irish football team will don its traditional blue and gold uniforms when it faces Stanford at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, but players will add a bold color to their game day look: pink. During the annual Pink Game, sponsored by the Kelly Cares Foundation (KCF) in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, players and coaches will accessorize with pink wristbands, shoelaces and other items to show their support for both the foundation and breast cancer awareness in general, KCF executive director Lisa Klunder said. The Pink Game also gives the Foundation an arena for raising awareness of its commitment to health, education and community, and its particular focus on breast cancer education and research, Klunder said. “This is a great opportunity for the foundation to get its name out there and let the community, fans and alumni know what we do,” she said. “Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is a perfect platform to do that.” Founded by Irish head coach Brian Kelly and his wife, Paqui, the Foundation dedicates much of its work to causes related to breast cancer awareness due to Paqui Kelly’s personal connection to the cause as a two-time survivor of the disease, she said. “As part of the three pillars of the organization, we focus on breast cancer awareness, education and research,” she said. “We continue to help organizations in any of those facets, whether it’s assisting research facilities with funding or me doing speaking engagements and encouraging people to be proactive about their health.” The Foundation also supports other non-profit organizations, Paqui Kelly said, as it recently donated $10,000 to Notre Dame swim coach Brian Barnes’s Coaches vs. Cancer event in honor of Barnes’s late wife, Alyssa. This year’s Pink Game holds special significance for Paqui Kelly, as she celebrated being five years cancer-free in September. “The first time around, I didn’t get to celebrate because I was diagnosed again before the five-year mark,” she said. In addition to the visual display of support from the football team and sales of Adidas licensed pink gear on game day, Klunder said the Foundation will be selling facemasks of Brian Kelly’s pink-visored face to fans as part of a partnership with the Logan Center in South Bend. “The proceeds will be split 50-50 between the Logan Center and the Foundation. They do wonderful things for their clients, and in keeping with our pillar of community, we can give back to an organization that could use the additional funds,” she said. “The Logan Center’s clients helped assemble [the masks], so they’ve been really proactive and involved in this. I don’t know if there are more or bigger Notre Dame fans than the Logan Center clients.” The upcoming game is a continuation of the Foundation’s other breast cancer awareness efforts, including last week’s second annual Think Pink with Paqui golf outing, which hosted 250 guests and raised more than $75,000 in net proceeds, Klunder said. Although the noncompetitive event was “lighthearted,” Paqui Kelly said its educational value was the real focus of the outing, as two Michiana oncologists spoke to attendees about breast cancer treatment, early detection and research. “The event was quite successful, and we got positive feedback from people who came,” she said. “The oncologists discussed current treatments, and so many things have changed that what people were told 10 years ago is a lot different now. From my first to my second diagnosis, my treatments were very different.” Paqui Kelly said her experience motivates her to share her story and raise awareness of the disease year round, not just in October. “It’s personal to Brian and me. I feel like I had a red carpet with cancer treatment because we had everything we needed along the way,” she said. “It’s also very important to understand that breast cancer doesn’t just happen in October, but using the same platform of awareness as the country and the NFL helps.” For more information about the Kelly Cares Foundation, visit kellycaresfoundation.org.
Asheville GreenWorks will host its annual Environmental Excellence Awards and Trashion Show on Saturday, April 14. Taking place from 6-9 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville, this truly spectacular event will recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations, and it also showcases local designers presenting sustainable fashions made from repurposed materials.It’s one of the 250 events organized each year by Asheville GreenWorks, a grassroots nonprofit with a staff of seven. Over 3,400 volunteers logged 11,000 hours assisting with Asheville GreenWorks projects last year.Executive Director Dawn Chavez explains that the nonprofit’s operations can be split into two categories: trash and trees. The organization’s day-to-day work puts a focus on cleaning pollution and litter, reducing waste, creating and maintaining sustainable practices, and providing education about trees within the community.The Asheville GreenWorks team is not afraid to get their hands dirty. They help clean rivers and roads, and they organize multiple Hard 2 Recycle and Tire Amnesty Days each year. River cleanups begin in May on Clean Streams Day. In celebration of Clean Streams Day, Asheville GreenWorks organizes teams made up of local volunteers who then chose a section of river that they would like to clean.Education programs aim to foster environmental literacy throughout the community. This program often leads staff members and volunteers into the community, where they are sharing knowledge about recycling, composting, reducing waste and living sustainably. Asheville GreenWorks’s internship opportunities are also a huge part of their education program.The Urban Forestry program focuses solely on trees. A few initiatives within this program are tree planting and maintenance, tree advocacy, and the Adopt-a-Spot program.GreenWorks is also very supportive of student interns. Their eight-week Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) allows students from low-income families to gain practical experience in a natural environment. In addition to YELP, GreenWorks has ample internship and volunteer opportunities for people of all ages.On April 14, GreenWorks will host two large events and also take part in the Mountain Science Expo at the North Carolina Arboretum. But doing three major events in one day is no small feat.Christine Brown, an environmental educator at Asheville Greenworks, is in charge of planning for the Mountain Science Expo. This year, GreenWorks will table the event and focus on pollinators and tress. Brown along with two interns will teach participants about different types of pollinators by making pollinator headbands. Each headband will have a unique time of antenna depending on the type of pollinator the person chooses. Brown said that she hopes this will teach the children about different types of pollinators and their antennas.“Usually people choose the butterfly or the bee,” said Brown. “But I really hope a few people choose the fly. I love the fly.”Also on April 14, GreenWorks will host its Hard 2 Recycle event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hard 2 Recycle is free to the public and will allow people to recycle anything from styrofoam and old computers to scrap metal and toner cartridges. Participating partners include The Open Box Moving Solutions, Biltmore Iron & Metal Co., The Habitat Restore and many more.Asheville GreenWorks will host its annual Environmental Excellence Awards and Trashion Show. Taking place from 6-9 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville, this truly spectacular event will recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations, and it also showcases local designers presenting sustainable fashions made from repurposed materials.In addition to a busy April 14, GreenWorks has more events planned this month. On April 18 GreenWorks will host a Downtown Cleanup Day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Pritchard Park in Asheville. This cleanup is in partnership with the Asheville Downtown Association and will focus on cleaning up trash in downtown Asheville.On April 21 GreenWorks will host Love Your Trees Asheville in Pack Square Park. The public is invited to come wrap Asheville’s trees in knitted “tree huggies” while taking part in fun activities all centered around trees. Also coming up is Pollination Celebration Week from June 16-24.For information about GreenWorks and to learn more about getting involved visit their website here.
Press Association Manager Louis van Gaal expects Manchester United’s superb defensive record to come under threat at Swansea on Sunday. United’s defence was expected to be their weak point this season, but they have not conceded in their first three Premier League matches. That may change on Sunday when they visit the Liberty Stadium, however. “I don’t want to lose again,” Van Gaal told MUTV. “It’s the only club we could not beat or gain one point against [last season]. “It’s a difficult team against us and before my period it was also difficult for United, so I hope we can improve and that we can show that we are better than last year.” United warmed up for the match in the best possible fashion by hammering Club Brugge 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday. Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick and Ander Herrera chipped in with another goal as United sealed their progression to the Champions League group stages with a 7-1 aggregate win. Juan Mata was impressed by the performance but knows success in the Premier League is just as important to the club as European glory. “The Champions League is the best competition to play in,” the United playmaker said. “I’ve been lucky enough to win it once and it’s amazing. Last season it was difficult to watch the games; now we have the chance to enjoy it. “But while we are happy about that, it’s now time to think about the next game on Sunday. From now on we want to win every game in the Premier League.” Mata’s week got even better on Friday when he was recalled to the Spain squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers with Slovakia and Macedonia. “I am very happy,” he said. “It’s amazing to play for your country. I have done it many times but it’s been a while since the last time so I am very happy and proud. “We have important games for the European Championships. We have Slovakia, the team leading the group, and Macedonia so it will be tough, but we are looking forward to it.” Mata is almost certain to keep his place in the starting XI for Sunday’s game in Swansea. Adnan Januzaj and Phil Jones are both out through injury, but Marouane Fellaini is available following a three-match domestic suspension. Swansea have devastating pace on both flanks, courtesy of Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero, while Bafetimbi Gomis has bagged three goals in three games up front. “Swansea are a very good team,” said the United manager, who lost twice to Garry Monk’s men last term. “They play a positional game like we do. They want to build up and have a good attack with speed and creativity. “They proved they are a good team this season in the draw against Chelsea and against Newcastle, and when I see the individual players I see that they have quality. “You spoke about Montero but they also have Ayew, Gomis and (Gylfi) Sigurdsson who have creativity. They are a difficult team to beat, especially away.” After tour wins over Real Madrid, Liverpool and Inter Milan, Swansea brought Van Gaal back down to earth by winning at Old Trafford on the opening day of last season. The Welsh side then completed their first league double over United with a 2-1 victory in Swansea in February. Van Gaal admits he could not stomach a third defeat to Monk’s side.