In the October issue, I told the story of our family’s relationship with the Atlanta Beat, and in particular McCall Zerboni. For those who didn’t get a chance to read it, I’ll summarize by saying that McCall has become a part of our family, and we love her.
During a conversation at our home over dinner, McCall mentioned, in passing, that breast
cancer is a subject that is near and dear to her heart. I filed that little bit of info in the back of
The next day, I set out on a mission…to find a breast cancer event where we could possibly partner and raise money for the cause. I made my way through the internet and found a local shopping center that was holding a Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness event. All of the stores would be raffling prizes, with 100% of the funds going to the cause. So, how could we raise funds? Fortunately, the Women’s National Team was practicing in Atlanta. A ball signed by the team would be a nice prize.
With all the details of the plan in place, I approached McCall with the idea. First of all, she was amazed that I actually remembered what she had said at dinner – (My wife says that a lot, too). Secondly, she thought it was a great idea. So, onward we moved with “Help the Beat beat breast cancer”. McCall got a ball signed by the National Team, a pink jersey autographed by the Beat, and an autographed photo of Abby Wambach. I secured a spot at the event, and assembled some volunteers from the Beat’s fan club, The Rhythm.
And now I’ll bring you back to the reason for the title of this article. As many of you know, WPS is going through some changes. Numerous players became free agents (including McCall).
They are without teams and their playing futures are unknown. I’m sure relationships between players and management are “strained”, to say the least. Such was the case, when the day for our charity event rolled around.
McCall showed up early (wearing a pink Beat jersey) and we started setting up. And then soon after, more arrivals: Mallori Lofton-Malachi, Kia McNeill, Brett Maron and Johanna Rasmussen, all of them Beat players who now had an “FA” (free agent) designation after their names on the roster. But there they were, wearing their Beat gear, standing under the Beat tent, and talking up the team to the crowd. They all put aside any differences they had to team
up against the same opponent – breast cancer. That’s all that mattered to them that day.
It was very heartwarming and refreshing to be a part of the “team” that day. We raised money and raised awareness for both the charity, and women’s athletics.
Photos: Right: McCall Zerboni, event coordinator Sara Fullmer, and David Bayer. Above: Atlanta Beat players at the beat the breast cancer event.