The History of Play4Kay

On December 3, 2016, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund will celebrate 9 years of doing what Coach Yow asked us to do – raise funds to support women’s cancer research. As this significant milestone approaches, we reflect on the Play4Kay initiative and its huge role in our success.

Coach Yow wanted to be a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers. She believed we would make a greater impact as a collective team, working together to accomplish one goal. 

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund

During the final stages of her battle with cancer, Coach Kay Yow had a vision to unite a nation of coaches, players, and the women’s basketball community to do something for the greater good that far exceeds wins and losses on the court.kayyowmission copy

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was born in December, 2007 and is a charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers by raising funds for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. To date, the Fund has allocated more than $5 million in support of women’s cancer research.

Coach Yow envisioned the women’s basketball community doing its part by funding research at a level that will create significant results – and lead to a cure. We can only do this with your help.

The History

The entire “pink phenomenon” in women’s basketball actually began during the 2004-05 season when Coach Yow’s cancer recurred, after being in remission for 17 years.

H4H Team (4)The WBCA sent an email to its membership encouraging women’s basketball teams to wear pink in honor of Coach Yow and all those battling cancer. Several years later, this movement resulted in the establishment of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the fundraising initiative known as Play4Kay.

What is Play4Kay

Play4Kay is the grassroots fundraising initiative of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. It was originally called Think Pink, later became Pink Zone and most recently and finally, Play4Kay.  Numerous sports, groups and organizations have hosted Play4Kay fundraisers — and have made a lasting impact that resonated with their fans and the community, all while raising funds for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

She envisioned Play4Kay events being hosted across the country and benefiting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund –allowing us to support advanced research, extend the quality of life for those battling cancer, and provide hope -  so that one day, we can put an end to this formidable disease.

For more information about the Play4Kay initiative and how you can get involved, call our staff at 919-659-3308.