Play 4Kay, Clays 4Kay – The Story Behind the Pink Clays

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Ed Strickland in a family photo with his wife Frances and their two adult sons. Two of the most important women in Ed’s life are breast cancer survivors, both his wife Frances and his mother — witnessing their resolve and strength was Ed’s inspiration for Clays 4Kay.

In 2013, my wife Frances was diagnosed with breast cancer. We are blessed to announce that to date, she is a two-year survivor.

About the same time, her mother, sister and brother were also diagnosed with various forms of cancer. None of us have to look far to find someone we know who has been affected by cancer.

During this period of great struggle, I was introduced to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and saw in the staff, people who embody the very vision of Coach Yow in fighting all women’s cancers.

Anyone who grew up in the Raleigh, North Carolina area knew who Kay Yow was. I actually had the privilege of meeting her and found out she was not only an excellent NC State basketball coach, but also a courageous fighter and a passionate, and compassionate visionary. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund staff has a passion that is contagious and you do not have to be around them long before you too want to join the fight.

So, last October, for the entire month, we threw pink targets at Deep River in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.  Bill and Mary Kempffer, owners of Deep River Sporting Clays, donated money raised to the Fund, and from that, the Clays 4Kay idea was born. When asked why Deep River is hosting the event, my first thought was because it is the right thing to do. Thinking about it a little more, I would also say it is a good fit and even, it is meant to be.

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Ed Strickland, Sue Donohoe and Bill Kempffer smile for the camera as a check is presented from the first Clays 4Kay event in October 2014.

Part of Coach Yow’s vision was to bring people together for a common cause, a challenge that to me, means ‘get off the bench and get in the game’ to fight cancer.

Rise to the challenge and do something.  Pink targets, pink shotgun shells and a mobile mammography unit (with Coach Yow’s image on the side) at a shooting range, is  a creative way to raise funds and awareness.

We are proud and honored to invite folks who enjoy shooting sports to join us for Clays 4Kay to support research for all women’s cancers.

This will be our first Clays 4Kay event, but not our last. My prayer and goal is for this event to become one of the biggest events we hold at Deep River Sporting Clays each year. Based on the success we are seeing thus far, we are well on our way.

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Mary and Bill Kempffer, owners of Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School.

“We are excited to be involved in the important work of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and look forward to Clays 4Kay growing larger each year.”  – Mary and Bill Kempffer, owners of Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School.

Ed Strickland is an instructor at Deep River Sporting Clays & Shooting School and has been the driving force behind Clays 4Kay. 

Coach Yow Receiving the ESPY Award…A Memory I Will Never Forget

Robin Pate Shares His Memory of the ESPYS…

The phone rang late in the evening as I was in my upstairs office, at home, and my caller ID showed “Coach Yow”. Getting a call from Coach Yow was not unusual; but the timing was. I knew that even though she was on the road recruiting, she was still making plans for Hollywood, a visit with Coach Wooden, and the ESPYS. I was sure she was wondering how I could help in my role as Director of Operations. That was not the reason for her call. She said, “We really had a fantastic season, and I want to have my coaching staff share in this experience. We have a hotel for you and you need to make your flight arrangements tonight. You fly out in two days.”

I teared up and distinctly remember physically jumping for joy. Coach Yow always wanted to share her experiences, and I could not have been more grateful to share in this once in a lifetime moment.

The following three days were a whirlwind of pre-parties, dinners, tours, after parties, a morning with Coach Wooden in his Westwood apartment, haircuts, make up (not mine) and even a mini-shopping spree for attire for these events. On the evening of the ESPYS, we made our way to the main hotel to meet Coach Yow. She was beautiful. Cancer had its effects on her, but her inner and true beauty came beaming through when she appeared in that stunning dress. The limo arrived and we piled in. The spotlight could not overwhelm her in any way, in fact she was more humbled and grateful at the opportunity, as well as happy that although cancer was attacking her body, she could still physically be there.

As the limo arrived at the red carpet, the rest of us moved to the side as Coach Yow entered a tent that would act as a staging area for the athletes and celebrities. When it came time to walk the red carpet, she was in her zone. We stepped aside and watched as she worked the carpet. Tons of pictures and a few interviews later, we were inside, still not believing all the people we were seeing.

That night, I met people from a wide range of sports, TV and ESPN personalities, and other celebrities. But my fondest memory was sneaking and talking my way from the nose-bleed sections to the floor level to escort Coach Yow to the stage. We walked by Kobe, Shaq, Annika, Peyton…and I helped her to the stage. As I turned around and saw thousands of people standing, cheering, crying, and supporting her, I lost my composure. I quickly made my way across the front row to find a place where I could watch her speak, and I cried.

I cried tears of joy that others saw her for who she was, tears of sadness knowing we would not have her much longer, tears of happiness because she would use that stage for a message she wanted to deliver, and tears of exhaustion from a year that I will never forget.

I made my way backstage to help Coach Yow back to her seat (apparently security will let a crying man go if he acts like he knows where his going). As I took pictures of her being interviewed and posing with Coach Summitt and Ashley Judd, she gave me a smile. It was the kind of knowing smile a loved one will give you just to connect and let you know everything is alright. She grabbed my arm and held tight as I weaved her through scores of race cars drivers, tennis players, mascots, and media…and eventually back to her seat.

As I watch the ESPYS this year, my thoughts will be of Coach Yow, her fight, her resolve, and her spirit. Something amazing happened in spite of the disease, and in many ways, the ESPYS was the springboard of the Fund and in turn, hope for scores of women who fight daily on their journey.

You can almost feel the energy of the evening.

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Pat Summitt and Ashley Judd share a moment with Coach Yow.

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Coach Yow and her 2007 coaching staff. L-R: Trina Trice-Hill, Stephanie Glance, (Coach Yow) Jenny Palmateer and Robin Pate.



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Coach Yow believed that women’s basketball coaches share not only a community, but should also share in a cause “much larger” than the game.  Her vision for the Fund was clear —  fund women’s cancer research and unite coaches for a common cause.

Join your coaching colleagues from across the country for the first Chip ‘N 4Kay Casino Night to benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.


When:  Monday, July 27th
2 Tenth Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901
Time: 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Ticket price: $75 


To purchase tickets and RSVP, contact Sarah Womack before July 20, 2015.


TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2015) – The Kay Yow Cancer Fund®, in partnership and collaboration with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, has awarded a $250,000 ovarian cancer research grant to Moffitt Cancer Center. Also in partnership with The V Foundation, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund announced the launch of a fundraising campaign, with the goal to raise an additional $1 million in support of a Moffitt ovarian cancer research grant project. This research grant proposal was submitted after a national request for proposals, issued by the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in conjunction with The V Foundation, and it was awarded based on the strong merits of Moffitt’s proposal and research plan.

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) is a valued partner of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. In recognition of the women’s basketball community’s support for Coach Kay Yow and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the Fund supports a women’s cancer research grant at an institution based in the host city of the annual NCAA Women’s Final Four®. This year’s grant is awarded to Moffitt to continue research on the benefits of personalizing the care of older women with ovarian cancer.

Susan Donohoe, Executive Director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, presented Martine Extermann, M.D., Ph.D., with a check at a news conference today at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Final Four press conference at Moffitt.

“Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women, and the survival rate for older women with ovarian cancer is markedly worse than it is for younger women,” Donohoe said.  “The

Kay Yow Cancer Fund has awarded a grant in each Women’s Final Four city since 2009. The  V Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee and Kay Yow Cancer Fund Research Grant Committee reviewed Dr. Extermann’s proposal and felt strongly that the research project is very meritorious of this funding support.  Research programs such as this one are critical as we continue to search for the cure.”


“As Coach Yow founded the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in 2007, she committed the Fund to supporting women’s cancer research,” said Stephanie Glance, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Columbia University and President of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. “It is fitting to present a research grant to Dr. Martine Extermann and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, the host city of the 2015 Women’s Final Four. This research grant will continue the legacy of Coach Yow and the Fund’s mission of supporting women’s cancer research. ”

“I’m truly honored to receive such a generous award from the Kay Yow Cancer Fund,” said Martine Extermann, M.D., Ph.D., a medical oncologist in the Senior Adult Oncology  Program  at  Moffitt. “Without support like this, it would be impossible to further my research in the area of cancer in the aging women’s population. With this support, we hope to better understand why ovarian cancer is more aggressive in older women and find treatments to fight those deleterious age-related mechanisms so that these women can live longer.”

About The Kay Yow Cancer Fund
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded on Dec. 3, 2007, from the vision of the organization’s namesake Kay Yow, former NC State University head women’s basketball coach. Coach Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 before succumbing to the disease on Jan. 24, 2009. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. For more information on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund or to make a donation, please visit

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, and its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer since  1999. With more than 4,500 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $1.6 billion.  For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $130 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee.

About The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association promotes women’s basketball  by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls.


ShoeinsertKD7 Aunt Pearl shoe honors Durant’s late Aunt Pearl who passed away in 2001 from lung cancer.

A special colorway of the KD7 features a pearlescent finish and angel wings as a fitting tribute to Durant’s Aunt Pearl.

Kevin Durant lost his beloved Aunt Pearl to lung cancer in 2001, and he promised himself to keep her memory alive.

Durant came up with the idea of an angel tattoo as a tribute to his late aunt’s grace and humility. He brought an initial concept to tattoo artist Randy Harris, who designed an angel taking flight. It was scaled to fit beneath the “Maryland” tattoo on Durant’s back. Harris completed the tattoo on the 10-year anniversary of Aunt Pearl’s passing, which indelibly connected Durant to his Aunt Pearl’s memory.

Nike designer Leo Chang’s inspiration for the new KD7 Aunt Pearl shoe came from Durant’s angel tattoo. Chang brought Harris’s artistry to the shoe with a three-dimensional angel wing strap, a print of the actual tattoo on the inside of the tongue and wing-pattern detailing on both gold Swoosh logos.

“I’m so proud that my Aunt Pearl’s elegance was captured by this shoe,” said Durant.  “She always taught me to hold my head high and carry myself with humble confidence. It’s fitting that’s the exact statement this shoe makes to me.”


The subtle, pearlescent white-based shoe is intended to draw attention to its sculptural quality and one-of-a-kind forefoot strap.  White is also the official color of lung cancer awareness.

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While honoring Aunt Pearl’s life, Durant and Chang also aspired to raise cancer awareness with the new design by adorning the heel with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund logo. Nike has been a proud supporter of the work and efforts of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund for seven years.