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Playing for a cure

In softball terms, it was a grand slam.

Playing for a cure

In one short week, the girls of the varsity and junior varsity softball teams at Monterey and Seaside high schools together raised $2,000 for a fund for advanced breast cancer screening for women who can’t afford it.

Led by Monterey teammates Mandy Royal and Catherine Frank, the girls baked treats for sale and collected donated items for raffles. With the support of their coaches and the parents’ group Save Our Sports, their efforts quickly paid off. In between their varsity and junior varsity match-up one day last spring, the girls, wearing special pink T-shirts donated by Cypress Sporting Goods, gathered on the pitcher’s mound to present a check to representatives of Community Hospital’s Breast Care Center.

The contribution became part of the Carol Hatton Fund for Women in Need, named for a Community Hospital employee who was instrumental in raising money for the Breast Care Center and who died of breast cancer in 2009. The fund was established to pay for diagnostic breast-care services for women who need but can’t afford them. Community Hospital’s goal is to raise $500,000 for the fund.

Though they’re barely teens, philanthropy isn’t new to this group of girls. They started their Play for a Cure effort in 2009 to raise money each year for cancer-related causes. The first year, their fundraising benefited the Frank Sollecito, Jr., Leukemia Fund.

“It’s really taught them so much about leadership and community service,” says Gina Trout, one of Monterey’s coaches. “It’s been great.”