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Gillett Secondary School’s “Spike for a Cure” Benefits the Trina Fund

When women are faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, they can feel as if they’ve lost control of a car, as if they can’t steer their lives in the direction they imagined. But that’s not just a metaphor: women also face multiple barriers to seeking out the specialists and services they need on the road to care. That’s where the Trina Fund comes in.

Appleton resident Trina Reynolds established the Trina Fund after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2009. She wanted to ensure that transportation was not a barrier to treatment – or for a second opinion – to other women with breast cancer. Trina lost her courageous battle on October 2, 2011 at the age of 49, but she paved the way for myriad women in our community to feel a little safer at the wheel.

According to her daughter Hillary, Trina recognized how complicated it was to travel from Appleton to seek out the best treatment options she could. “She wanted to create an avenue or some vehicle for women who didn’t have access to that,” said Hillary.

The fund began with $1,000 of seed money and has grown so much that, since founding the fund it has been able to impact 285 local women battling breast cancer, totaling $108,636.

This year, Jill Halla worked with volleyball players at Gillett Secondary School so that they could use their powerful serves at their own “Spike for a Cure” night.

As a Physical Education and Health teacher and Varsity volleyball coach, Halla has led students to some major victories on the court—but this event shows her team’s efforts have an even bigger impact. “The event started before I came to Gillett, when a teacher had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The event has grown significantly since then” says Halla. “In the past, we’ve honored and donated money to a teacher or community member going through treatments.”

Halla and her team are part of a bigger effort that draws on the efforts of a lot of players in the Marinette & Oconto Conference. “Our Athletic Director sells t-shirts to schools in the conference,” Halla explains. “Then each school holds a Spike for a Cure event that reflects students’ vision. For ours, we’ve included basket raffles, Duck Throw, 50/50, and Fill the Boot.”

This year’s event raised a total of $1,872 for the Trina Fund. “We learned about the fund last year when a community member told us about the Trina Fund,” said Halla. “It’s a great resource for people in areas like ours.”

“Students really play a role in putting the event on and making it a success,” Halla said. “In health class, we talk about cancer—what it is, how to detect it, and treatment options. As we continue with the event, I’d like to add more information about awareness and also incorporate some wording that draws attention to the history of Spike for a Cure.”

With the strength of all the players who made this happen, we know we’ll continue to rally against cancer so that more women have access to the care they need to battle breast cancer.


Learn more about the Trina Fund here.

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