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Islip, Kings Park to run for cancer awareness

The box for a Sephora Collection Pink Eyelash

The box for a Sephora Collection Pink Eyelash Curler is displayed in Philadelphia. Advocates are asking whether breast cancer awareness has lost its focus, and become more about marketing than women’s health. Pinkwashing, a word coined by activists, is a practice being described as when a company or organization does a pink breast cancer promotion, but at the same time sells and profits from pink-theme products. But pink ribbon groups say such sales help to fund millions of dollars of research to find cures for the disease. (Oct. 10, 2011) (Credit: AP)

The picturesque fall foliage at Sunken Meadow is about to get a heavy dose of pink tomorrow, thanks to the Kings Park and Islip girls cross country teams.

Tomorrow’s dual meet between the Kingsmen and the Buccaneers will be more than just a race between League V rivals. It caps a multi-week fundraising effort by both teams for the American Cancer Society and helps kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Girls from both teams will be decked out in pink "Track Down A Cure" T-shirts and other pink paraphernalia to support breast cancer awareness and research. Each team will line the finish chute with pledge cards that they’ve collected over the past few weeks, and a table will be set up for at the course for anyone who wishes to donate.

"A lot of kids are excited that the fact that it’s going to be a different kind of meet on Tuesday," Islip head coach Dave Claps said.

In addition to the blowout at Sunken Meadow, both Islip and Kings Park have been pulling out all the stops in collecting donations. The Islip girls organized a bake sale at the school, while Kings Park had a "Smoothie Night" last night in East Northport to go along with both teams’ T-shirt sales and pledge card drives.

Both teams had raised approximately $1,300 combined as of yesterday and hope to reach their ultimate goal of $1,500-2,000 after tomorrow’s meet, which will start at approximately 4:30 p.m.

"It’s a really good cause," Kings Park head coach Rob Muller said. "They got the whole school going. It’s a really great experience for them."

As an added bonus, both coaches are going to get in the spirit of pink as well. Muller has dyed his hair pink for the meet to honor an incentive that he offered his girls, while Claps will dye his goatee pink.

"The girls made signs saying ‘If we raise $500, Muller will have to dye his hair’," Muller said. "I think everyone—both teachers and students—is looking forward to seeing me with pink hair tomorrow."

Said Claps of his newly-dyed goatee, "Who knows? The goatee might live on through October. We’ll just have to see how bright it is."