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Flashback to grade school when you jumped out of bed on an otherwise lazy Sunday morning. You brushed the cobwebs from your eyes, dusted off your softball cleats and threw on your assigned colored cotton jersey to play some ball. Many of us have these memories from childhood, and some of us still take to the field as adults, relishing the sound of metal hitting a rubber and cork ball.
Whether or not you still take part in playing softball or have never played at all, Astorians Kelly Anlas and Sylvia Diaz, cofounders of the fundraising tournament Paint the Diamond Pink (PTDP), provide the opportunity for any female-identifying person to grab a bat for a good cause.
“[PTDP] was born of two passions. For me, it was the desire to have a softball game just for women, where players who were new to the sport could learn and play in a supportive environment, and experienced ballers could flex their muscles in any position on the field,” Anlas said. “[Diaz] saw the opportunity to support a worthy cause. When she was approached with the idea of a women's game, she had already been contemplating ways to raise funds for a friend in AVON 39, the Walk to End Breast Cancer. We both admired the cause and, together, we decided that a women's only softball game was a great way to support it.”
Since its conception two years ago, PTDP raised funds for the fight to end breast cancer with AVON 39. However, AVON ended their Walk to End Breast Cancer events this past year, and Anlas and Diaz knew that other organizations would be in need. This year, the duo chose to team up with Breast Treatment Task Force (BTTF), a grassroots organization that helps lowand moderate-income women in New York City get access to breast care that would otherwise be out of reach for them due to issues of enrollment, eligibility or affordability.
“Eighty percent of BTTF patients in need of preventative screenings are between the ages of 26 and 40,” Diaz said. “Those are our friends and neighbors, and while we can never fill the gap left by AVON 39, we are honored to do our part in helping our community through BTTF.”
The tournament will include four teams (chosen by Anlas and Diaz), and will be played round-robin style. The games are scheduled to start at 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, at Queensbridge Park in Long Island City.
“We’re both based in Astoria and love this community, so we want to keep it local. Queensbridge Park is great for a tournament because we can have two games going at once, and also because it is spacious and convenient for spectators,” Anlas said.
Even if you are not interested in playing or missed the registration deadline on Aug. 22, don’t miss out on spectating and entering the raffles with donations from local companies including the Museum of the Moving Image, Locked Escape Room NYC, Alamo Drafthouse, the McKittrick Hotel (home of the play “Sleep No More”) and personal shopper Natalie Black. If you wish to participate or get involved in any way, get in touch with Anlas or Diaz via Facebook (Facebook.com/paintthediamondpink) or Instagram (@paintthediamondpink).
Softball, community and philanthropy is a Sunday well spent. According to Diaz, “PTDP is all about empowerment and charity.”