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PAXTON — Before and during Monday's game against GCMS — which also served as the Panthers' senior night game — PBL hosted "Play for Cait...", a special fundraising effort for PBL sophomore Caitlynn Riblet, who was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in December.
The event raised what PBL athletic director John Overstreet said was over $10,000.
"It's really amazing to see the community come together," Riblet said. "We couldn't be more blessed to have everybody that we have in our lives."
It was the third athletic fundraiser for Riblet's journey. In weeks past, PBL hosted a Cut-a-Thon, and Cissna Park head boys basketball head coach Kevin Long and PBL head coach Scot Vogel shaved their heads.
"All of these fundraisers have been memorable," Riblet said. "It's overwhelming how all these small communities have been coming together. I never know so many people could help out in this journey ahead of us."
PBL head coach Clarissa Gross-Michalak on Riblet and the coming together of the PBL and GCMS communities coming together for the fundraiser: "It gives you chills to see this entire community come together for a great kid who is going on this journey. When life throws you a curveball like it has thrown Caitlynn, there's two things you can do: You can feel sorry for yourself and sulk and ask why, or, in Cait's situation, you can put your boxing gloves on and you can fight. She's fighting like a girl, and we're all right behind her. I couldn't be more honored to have her as a part of our family. To all the communities, all the support, everyone that made donations for this cause, on behalf of the Riblet family, the Fessler family and the PBL family, we just want to give our deepest gratitude."
Gross-Michalak said she had a lot of help from Tammie Lawson and Amie Christensen with organizing this event.
"There's no way that it could have been possible without the two of those ladies," Gross-Michalak said. "They spent a lot of hours organizing this. We spent many nights communicating with one another. There's absolutely no way that this could have been as successful as it was without those two ladies."
Here are some of the highlights from Monday's event: