The Perryville football coaches made an interesting fashion choice during the homecoming football game Saturday. It turned out that it was for a good cause. PHS teacher and assistant football coach Brent Roth is currently participating in the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink 2020 Campaign.
He set a goal of raising $2,500 during October to fight breast cancer, and seven other Pirate coaches agreed to wear pink pants and hats during the Homecoming football game if he met that goal.
“We blew that out of the water,” Roth said of the goal. “We hit the $2,500 goal on the first day of October. I don’t think it had anything to do with me. I think our community is good at stepping up and doing that. Most of this money isn’t from me. All I did was wear pink pants.”
Those pink pants certainly were not easy to find according to Roth.
“It was pretty difficult,” Roth said. “I had to call around and I finally found a website online and I wasn’t really sure if they were reputable or not. I was kind of hoping they didn’t take my money. But they showed up and they looked good.”
The response has been so overwhelmingly positive that Roth raised the goal to $5,000, and said that the fundraiser has raised nearly $7,000 to date, putting the Perryville coaches’ event in the top five of all current fundrasiers in the state, according to Lindsey Manshack, chair of the Missouri Area Board for the American Cancer Society
That number continued to rise in part because Roth is now partnered with local businesses to ‘Sponsor a PHS Touchdown’ and donate a fixed amount for every PHS football touchdown during October. Roth said Amanda Rhyne, who’s son Tyler is on the team, suggested the touchdown sponsorship.
For the homecoming game, those 20 businesses agreed to collectively donate $400 for each touchdown the Pirates scored on Saturday. The team scored seven times in a 48-12 victory over Herculaneum
“We’ve had sponsored touchdowns for the past two weeks and I was starting to think that we jinxed ourselves, Roth said, as the Pirates scored once in a loss to Dexter the previous week. “It was nice to put some points on the board and raise some money. I think the kids took it upon themselves to play well today.”
The cause hits close to home for Roth, who "wears pink” in honor of two special women, his late mother Sandy Hadler Roth and his wife’s Shelby’s late mother Sheila Crase.
“My wife Shelby and I have both lost our mothers due to complications with breast cancer,” Roth said. “Because of this, I am well aware of many of the hardships that come with a diagnosis, from extra emotional support, medical bills, job loss, travel expenses, and much, much more.”
Roth said that he hopes that the fundraiser will continue for games and seasons in the future.
“I think it would be crazy not to because of the amount of support that we have received,” Roth said. “Maybe we will attack it a different way, but I would imagine we will have another fundraiser next year.”