TOWNSEND -- The annual pink volleyball game, held in October, has become a tradition at the high school.
"North Middlesex (Regional High School) brought the pink game into being through the American Cancer Society five years ago," said Jannine Roberts, who coached the team at the time. She is now a volunteer coach and parent coordinator.
One home game in October, which is breast-cancer awareness month, is chosen for the pink game after the schedule for the year has been set.
All three women's teams, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity, will play in a pink game Oct. 10.
"They're always excited to see which team we're going to play," Roberts said.
Since North Middlesex began hosting the games, other teams in the league have run their own games.
This year, the visiting team is Clinton. Their coach, Janet Carey, was one of the first coaches to hold a pink game after the idea was introduced to the Mid Wach A League.
"I know that she's going to come with her team with enthusiasm about the game," Roberts said.
The games are part of the scheduled season. North Middlesex plays 18 games per season, averaging two to three games per week.
Usually the teams will get back to school around 8 p.m. and then the students need to go home and start homework. Even with this challenging schedule, the girls take time to make the pink game a fundraising success.
Each year an average of $1,500 is raised for the American Cancer Society.
"The kids are smart. They have this warm-heartedness. Year after year, the incoming freshmen were just as nice as the outgoing seniors," she said.
This year, each team at North Middlesex will put together a basket to raffle as a fundraiser.
"They've gotten into the habit of designing their own T-shirts for the game," Roberts said.
If the teams know they are going to be playing in a pink game at another school, they will wear their pink shirts.
Parents are also an important part of the fundraising effort.
Roberts, who is volunteering this year after 10 years of coaching, has a daughter on the team.
The Oct. 10 games start at 4 p.m. at North Middlesex. There is an admission fee of $3 per student or senior and $5 per adult. Volleyball fans can contribute to the American Cancer Society by purchasing pizza, baked goods, crafts, raffles and cards for the Wall of Hope.