Sideline Cancer game impacts community


Victoria Jenkins

Dawson Miller and his family received a $1,000 check for Dawson’s father Doug, who is battling pancreatic cancer.

Johanna Heckman, Staff Writer

The event was more than just a basketball game, bringing light to a one of the many families in the Bellwood community battling cancer.

The Bellwood-Antis basketball program hosted its first Sideline Cancer game last Friday, and fans came out in droves despite an ice storm that had classes across Blair County cancelled that day.

Sideline Cancer was created by the Griffith family as a way to engage students and communities  to raise funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer. Greg Griffith passed away after battling pancreatic cancer for 19 months. When he heard his diagnosis he had asked the doctors how he and his wife could help the doctors. But after his passing his family and some friends of theirs had the idea to create a foundation to raise money for doctors and people suffering from pancreatic cancer.

The family came up with the name Sideline Cancer. Sideline Cancer had originally started as Tackle Cancer, which centered on  football games until 2012. They changed the name of the foundation so it could be centered to more sports, especially basketball, which Greg had a love for.

Dawson Miller, one of the players on the basketball team, was taken aback by the level of community support for the game. His father has been battling pancreatic cancer and the family was presented a $1,000 check at halftime.  The money had been raised by t-shirt sales for the event.

“I think I speak on behalf of my family when I say that ‘special’ wouldn’t really begin to describe what it meant to us,” said Dawson.

The Blue Devils lost the game to ICC rival Williamsburg 60-47, but the outcome of the game took a backseat to the Sideline Cancer event itself. The student section was packed with students wearing sideline cancer shirts, which were purchased for $15, to show their support.

B-A alumni Alli Campbell, who is now playing for the Penn State Lady Lions, was one of the many forces driving this game.

“Alli teamed up with Sideline Cancer and The Griffith Foundation to bring us the Sideline Cancer game,” said Mrs. Alison Stinson, who was also one of the game’s organizers and promoters.

Campbell wasn’t able to make it to the game because her and her Penn state Lady Lion Teammates were stuck in Nebraska due to the weather.

“Our communities (Bellwood and Williamsburg) had a major impact on taking ‘cancer off the sideline and to the finish line, for a cure,'” said Mrs. Stinson.

“This is how community helps community. We come together as one,” said president of SIDELINE CANCER Cathy Grifffith.

Even though B-A didn’t win the game, the support for the family was really what mattered the most.

“At the end of the day though, it was a great night, between the event and the support form the fans,” said Dawson.