Dig Pink Hits the AVCA Convention

Author: Rick Dunetz
December 24, 2008

Rick Dunetz
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Rick Dunetz

Executive Director at The Side-Out Foundation
Rick Dunetz is the founder and executive director of The Side-Out foundation. His passion for volleyball and his role as a coach led him to create the Foundation in honor of his mother, Gloria, who lived with breast cancer for six years.

Rick has coached volleyball in his local community for 15 years. Currently, he is the head coach of the Oakton girls freshman volleyball team and assistant coach for the girls varsity volleyball team in Vienna, Virginia.
Rick Dunetz
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Barry Goldberg, Kay Rogness, and Me

2 degrees with a -25 wind chill…now that is really cold. But there was lots of warmth in the Qwest Center December 17th through the 20th because Side-Out was exhibiting at the AVCA Convention in BRISK Omaha Nebraska and we brought a VERY pink booth. 4 members of our board, Brad Wise, Barry Goldberg, Kay Rogness, and Lisa Marston were all present to help out with our debut. What was the big news? Why did we need to be there? Well, for one, Lisa Marston, of D4C fame, joined forces with us to help unify the volleyball community in the fight against Breast Cancer. I have only spoken with Lisa on the phone so this was a great opportunity for all of us to meet and share our visions. We all really loved Lisa and we are tremendously excited to work with her on a day to day basis.

The other big news was the Dig Pink Tour; our new event that encompasses 5 national tournaments, 4 of which are national qualifiers. Our goal is to get the Club Volleyball community on board. The tour will hit stops in Washington DC, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, and Reno and we expect over 50,000 players to participate. One day at each of the events will be a Dig Pink Day and we look to outfit hundreds of teams in pink to make an awesome spectacle. Kay Rogness, of Colorado Crossroads and Front Range Volleyball Club, is our event coordinator and she is a perfect fit for what we are doing. Kay also was at the convention this past week and she went out and started locking down potential sponsors.

Akiyo, my lovely wife, and I

As for me, I got to meet a lot of coaches that hosted Dig Pink events as well as new coaches who want to host next year. Our booth was always full and we met a lot of great people during our time there. One of the nice things that made this event special was the coaches coming into our booth and thanking us for supporting this cause. The coaches worked very hard to host their events so I always get goofy about receiving a “thank you” from someone who was so unbelievably selfless. All and all, it made this event a special moment in our history and we look to do it every year.

Just a quick thank you to everyone who helped make this event special: THANK YOU to Kay, Barry, Don, Len, my lovely wife Akiyo, Brad, the folks at Worldwide Sports, and the AVCA.

Finally, I wanted to talk a little about the Nebraska/Penn State match. If you ever want to see the prime example of a “never say die” attitude, look no further then the Nebraska Cornhusker volleyball team. Playing against a team that had not lost a set (3 to 5 sets in a match) the entire season and down 2-0, they came back to almost upset the Penn State Nittany Lions. It was one heck of a match and it gives new meaning to the old adage “one game at a time.” For women and men fighting this disease it is often “one day at a time”, “one hour at a time”, and sometimes, “one minute at a time”. During the holidays, let us all keep thinking in these terms and make your time together worth every second. Happiness is a very strong medication. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

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