Anchorage — Cook Inlet Conference gymnasts will be dressed in pink this weekend, competing for a cause in the fourth annual Think Pink meets to benefit breast cancer awareness.
Dimond and Chugiak High will host the meets Saturday, with four of eight Anchorage teams competing at each location. Donations will be accepted for admission and money will also be raised through silent auctions, split-the-pot raffles, T-shirt sales and concessions.
East, Eagle River, Chugiak and Bartlett will compete in a quad-meet at Chugiak; Dimond, South, Service and West will perform at Dimond.
Each team created a gift basket for the silent auction, which will also include items donated by local merchants. Athletes coaches and judges will wear Think Pink T-Shirts sponsored by Katmai Oncology, with gymnasts wearing pink-themed leotards during competition.
"I think it's good for kids to learn the value of being involved in something bigger than themselves," said fifth-year East coach Andrea Stearns, who estimates the meets have raised at least $8,000 in the last three years and hopes to surpass $5,000 this weekend.
Stearns' daughter, Amy Winczura, a senior gymnast at Texas Women's University, planted the seed for a Think Pink meet in Anchorage after attending a similar event in the Lower 48.
The event has been a success, Stearns said, but it got a little too crowded last year when it was held at one school for the first time. The return to two schools will make competitions run more smoothly and give people more room to circulate.
Vendors, auctions and educational displays will be open to the public at 10 a.m. Competition begins at noon. The mobile mammography van from Providence Alaska Medical Center will be at the Dimond meet.
Benefitting from the fundraiser will be YWCA Encore Plus, which provides free breast and cervical screening for under-served women, and Breast Cancer Focus, Inc., which provides education and support to patients and their families.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.