NEW BERLIN – There will be many teams at Gus Macker this weekend, and Team Amy’s Army will be one of them. But don’t expect to find them on the basketball court. This team is made up, not of basketball players, but of supporters of Amy Brillinger Pole, a Norwich High School graduate who has spent the last two years battling a brain tumor.
During the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Tournament in Norwich this Saturday and Sunday, Pole and her “army” of supporters will be selling fresh fruit cups in East Side Park. Proceeds from the sale will go toward their current fundraising goal: to raise $10,000 for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk in support of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on September 12.
“We are all walking under Team Neuro so that all money that we raise through personal donations, t-shirt/cookbook and fruit sales will go specifically to adult brain tumor research,” explained Pole, who has been receiving treatment at Dana-Farber for much of the last two years.
So far, she explained, the team’s 32 walkers have already raised a little over $4,500 through personal donations and the sale of signature Team Amy’s Army t-shirts.
“We still have a little more than $5,400 left to raise,” she reported.
“We have a long way to go,” said her mother, Kathy Brillinger. Brillinger, who has been behind her daughter 100 percent throughout her ordeal, has taken the lead on organizing this weekend’s fundraising efforts.
“Amy’s treatment is working and she is doing so well and that has filled us with positive energy,” she said. “We want to use that energy to give back to Dana-Farber and support brain cancer research.”
Brillinger said she wants to thank everyone who has had a hand in their fruit cup fundraiser.
“There have just been a lot of people helping out to make it work for us,” she explained. According to Brillinger, that includes the Chenango County Health Department, the Norwich YMCA, Morris Tent, Price Chopper, and Betsey Baio of New Berlin Pizzeria.
Also deserving recognition are the 20 or so volunteers scheduled to meet at St. Andrews in New Berlin tonight to cut fruit in preparation for the weekend.
Brillinger has a “more the merrier” attitude when it comes to the impromptu fruit cutting party.
“Anyone who wants to help, bring a knife and a cutting board,” she said with a laugh.
An equal number of volunteers have pledged their time to man the booth on Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re just hoping for a big things,” she reported.
In addition to the fresh fruit cups, which will sell for $3 each, Team Amy’s Army t-shirts will be on sale for $15. Pre-sales will also be accepted for Team Amy’s Cookstrong Cookbook, a compendium of 420 recipes submitted by friends and family members. The cookbooks, which are currently being printed, will be available for $20. Donations will also be accepted at the booth which, according to Brillinger, will has a “prime location” near the eastern most point of East Side Park. The booth will be manned during tournament hours on Saturday and Sunday.