Ken Warren, right, chairmen of The Deep Freeze, demonstrates a racquetball serve for, from left, tournament participants Conrad Mason and Dave Carlson, Brigetta Overcash, executive director of WCA Foundation, Tom Anderson, director of the Lakewood YMCA, and tournament sponsor Charles DeAngelo.
Deep Freeze Tournament Sends Support to Hospital’s Treatment Program
By BRIGETTA E. OVERCASH
Be Strong. These two words have become the foundation for many cancer fighting patients, but are especially meaningful to Ken Warren of Ashville.
“ ‘I know I have to be strong.’ Those are the words a woman said to a clerk in the office where I was waiting for my next radiation treatment,” said Ken Warren. “I thought, yeah, she’s right. That’s the message we will send with this year’s tournament t-shirts.”
The Deep Freeze racquetball tournament has been held for 24 years at the Lakewood YMCA. In the last five years the proceeds have been targeted to fight breast cancer locally and now at UPMC Chautauqua WCA to help the men and women diagnosed with the disease.
“. For years Dick Barton and I traveled all over to participate in racquetball tournaments. Then, I decided to start our own tournament. Herb Rice was very involved with creating The Deep Freeze with me. Six years ago the idea to go after breast cancer came to me. It meant something to me – not that anyone in my family had been affected by it.
“I do it to help,” Warren said. “Women have it bad. So many have it. It’s just my drive to be able to someday say that I had something to do with helping others while they find a cure. It’s a passion of mine.
“Fortunately for me I got cancer myself,” Warren continued. “I have made some connections because of it. I’ve met and talked to other men and women while getting my treatments and share with them. Because of those conversations, a 30-year-old young friend decided to get treatment.
“I know I’ll be taken care of … I believe the good Lord will take care of me,” Warren said as he faced the end of his treatments.
Those who have supported him and this year’s tournament were Hope’s Windows, Jim Roach at Falconer Printing and Fessenden, Laumer & DeAngelo as sponsors from this community. In addition, participants from Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York have joined the cause to Be Strong and fight breast cancer in the Chautauqua Region to help the men and women stricken by the disease.
“Breast cancer and cancer in general touches all of us,” said Charles S. DeAngelo, Esq., a sponsor of The Big Freeze. “The ‘C’ word makes us all pause. When Kenny told me the ‘Be Strong’ story I choked up. That lady nailed it. Kenny followed her advice both personally and in acting as a messenger to others through this Racquetball Tournament.
“We are happy to join Kenny Warren and the other sponsors in this great cause,” DeAngelo added.
It is dedicated event planners like Warren and Rice, sponsors like DeAngelo and others, and participants from across many states who support events like The Big Freeze that will make cancer a disease of the past. This community’s support of cancer fighting and patient supporting events through UPMC Chautauqua WCA and WCA Foundation is what makes events like this so special and meaningful.
For more information about how you can help fight cancer locally, contact Brigetta E. Overcash, executive director, 716-664-5461, Overcashbe@upmc.edu; or Megan Barone, director of development, 716-664-8423, Baronema3@upmc.edu, of WCA Foundation. Or search tax-exempt giving opportunities at www.wcafoundationjamestown.org. There several endowed funds that have been created to fight cancer and support those being treated for the disease at UPMC Chautauqua WCA listed on WCA Foundation’s website.