Pembroke Girls' Basketball Team

How 'Shooting for a Cure' Became Pembroke High School's Identity

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Pink Game

It all began in 2011 when Coach Ron Funke’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, Ron was the head coach of the Pembroke Girls’ summer league softball team. When the team heard the news, the girls approached their head basketball coach Mike Wilson. They were eager to dedicate a ‘Pink Game’ to raising money for breast cancer research in Mrs. Funke’s honor. “We walked around with a couple of empty coffee cans asking for donations and a pink basketball. We went out into the community and next thing we knew, it lit up like wild fire,” said Mike. That first year the team raised $4,000 for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Shooting for a Cure Success

Shooting for a Cure has grown into an annual event for the Pembroke High School and its community. Seven years later, Shooting for a Cure is a wild success. The Pembroke High School Varsity Girls’ Basketball team has collectively raised over $88,000 for Roswell Park. Their 2018 event marked their greatest success yet – raising over $27,000! On Thursday, January 10, 2019, the Lady Dragons will face off in the 8th annual Shooting for a Cure pink game against the Notre Dame Lady Irish. The JV game begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Varsity game at 7 p.m. at Pembroke High School. The team has their eyes set on hitting the $100,000 cumulative fundraising mark, which would put them into the Roswell Park Leadership Circle of Giving. Now the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Head Coach, Ron says that everyone wants to help make Shooting for a Cure a success. Local businesses and teams are eager to get involved and donate to the cause. “Each year, teams across the area want to be a part of this game. Everyone does. Everyone wants to play Pembroke for the pink game…,” Ron said. “…it has become our identity, and I think that is really cool.”

Tips for Future Fundraisers

For future fundraisers, Mike admits that creating something like Shooting for a Cure is hard and takes a lot of work. However, he says that with passion, dedication and inspiration, anything is possible. Mike suggests starting small. Shooting for a Cure did not grow over night but took years to fully develop. He encourages anyone who wants to, to give it a try, because you will be doing something great for your school and your community. And with their help, your event will grow! “You’ll be truly amazed at how the people around you want to help,” he said.

Team Roswell is a community-driven fundraising program that benefits research and patient care at Roswell Park. Turn your interests, athletic events and special moments into funding for life-saving treatments. Get started or learn more at or call 716-845-8788.