By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
An annual Yukon High School softball game benefiting a cancer patient has become a community effort to help the family of a sick Yukon boy.
The YHS Millerettes’ softball booster club recently selected Gage Krupovage, 8, as this year’s “Pink Out Night” recipient. Gage is battling Chordoma cancer, a rare type of cancer that occurs in the bones of the skull base and spine.
Jennifer King, an attorney whose daughter plays for the Millerettes, is helping organize a fund-raiser for Gage’s family.
“The biggest thing for me is that our community comes together to show that we care and support this family that is one of our own – because it could be any of us,” King said. “I grew up here and this shows a sense of unity in our community.”
Gage, the son of Gary and Deedra Krupovage, has two younger brothers ages 7 and 2.
The Shedeck Elementary student was diagnosed in late June and is now at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.
Each year, the YHS softball team hosts a Pink-Out Night to support a local cancer patient in the Yukon school district.
“Normally we just sell T-shirts to our parents and the girls all have a jersey they wear that night,” King said. “Everything we raise that night goes to the family of the recipient.”
About a week after choosing Gage as this year’s recipient, the softball players and boosters learned his brain tumor had grown.
With the annual Pink Out Night Millerettes’ softball game coming up Sept. 12, King and other parents are taking orders for a special “Gage’s Village” T-shirt. The shirts, which are pink with blue and white lettering, sell for $15 each.
“All proceeds from the sale of T-shirts will go to Gage’s family, for medical costs and anything they need,” King said. “The community of Yukon can show their support by buying the T-shirts and wearing the T-shirts.
“We can’t change the diagnosis, obviously, but we can certainly help in the way someone feels.”
T-shirts may be ordered at the YHS athletic office, Marlee Rose Boutique, Avery Joe’s Boutique, Urban Oak on 66, and Vacca Territory Creamery & Coffeehouse.
Millerettes’ players and parents will be at Urban Oak, 454 W Main, selling Pink Out shirts during Thursday night’s “Rock the Route” music festival.
The idea to wear pink for the Pink Out Night game started several years ago to show support in the fight against breast cancer.
“The school district has kept it pink,” King said. “The color to support Gage’s cancer is blue so we’ll have blue writing on our pink T-shirts.”
King, who represents all foster children in Canadian County as their attorney, has been impressed with the caring support shown by Yukon students.
“Yukon has done a really good job,” she said. “When I’ve asked for help from some of these teens – middle school and high school – they’ve stepped forward and helped.
“It’s great to see our younger generation participate in community service.”