By Mairin Hoffman ’25
On October 6, 2023, one of the school’s most cherished traditions, Play 4 The Cure, was held on a rainy night full of intensely competitive field hockey games. Each class assembled a team of around twenty players, led by players from the Gunn girls field hockey teams. Sign-ups for the event were very competitive as so many students wanted to participate. The night was a huge success, as a tremendous crowd of teachers and students convened together with the community for a night of celebrated teamwork. Each class of students gave an amazing effort and contributed to the unexpected outcome of the game.
Play 4 The Cure is a worldwide celebrated event, as all the proceeds are made via donations that go towards cancer research. The donations were collected through each team member paying to play, students paying for a dress-down day, and a table full of baked goods provided by students and faculty to enjoy while watching the games go down. Each student participating felt excitement and ambition before the game and began to practice with each other and form a game plan. To enhance everyone’s focus and comprehension of the game and its rules, Coach LeBlanc and Coach Paulekas gathered all the players into the center of the field to explain the rules to new players and show the tricks within the field hockey stick.
The games started off with the seniors versus sophomores and juniors versus freshmen. The Senior class won with a score of 3-0, and the Junior class won in a very close game with a score of 3-2. The games were full of enthusiastic audiences, peer support, and funny errors and lessons players learned from each other while playing in the fast-paced game.
The final two teams, juniors and seniors, had a long game ahead of them to determine who was the winner of Play 4 the Cure this year. Both teams were screaming, and the celebrations were louder and more intense as the game went on. There was lots of jumping, yelling, running, and enthusiastic cheers from each side, building up tension between both teams. Two ten-minute periods of extreme action and hard work led to a shootout after a tie of 1-1. The juniors eventually won the game through two outstanding goals by Jake Pellicane and Billy Collins ‘25. Corbin Carkner ‘25 was extremely enthusiastic about the game and the junior win. “When Billy scored, we all went sprinting down the field, and we did the row boat celebration, which was the highlight of the game by far.”
Play 4 the Cure is undoubtedly one of the best nights on campus. The participation from the student body contributes immensely to this success. The event was noted as being extremely successful this year. Head Prefect Bea Flynn ‘24, who organized the event for her Civic Changemaker project, said that the Highlanders surpassed their donation goal and raised a total of $2,254. Bea recalls the event with pride. “Play 4 The Cure 2023 was definitely one to remember. I had so much fun and everyone else enjoyed it as well. It was the best year I have been a part of and I loved seeing how competitive everyone got. The championship was one to remember. Although the seniors lost, we went out with pride. It was so fun to see all of the classes bonding and sharing so much laughter with each other as everyone tried to learn how to play field hockey. Not only did we have so much fun and spirit, we did it while supporting a great cause that affects so many people inside and outside of our community!” All of the Highlanders coming together and working hard for a great cause really shows how much of a force for good our community truly is. Students know that they can honestly make change happen while also having fun!