Members of the Southern Hills Pink Ladies and Pink Co-eds Dart League pose for a photo this past weekend at the Winners Circle during their end-of-the-season tournament. The event also served as “donation day” where they presented $400 each to 10 different local individuals who are battling cancer. Some of them are pictured here as well.
By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – With the message that “No one fights alone,” a local group of dart players known as the Southern Hills Pink Ladies and Pink Co-Eds met this past weekend and presented $400 each to 10 different Fall River County area individulas who are battling cancer.
The $4,000 given away on Saturday, Nov. 23, is part of a total of about $23,000 that has been presented to local cancer patients over the past five years, all thanks to a unique dart league whose sole purpose is to raise funds for cancer.
Dart League President Forest Halls said the league started in Hot Springs in 2014, but there had been other similar leagues happening around the state prior to that. Traci Noteboom, who works for D&S Vending in Rapid City, brought the idea to the Southern Hills and continues to help coordinate the fundraising effort today, Halls said.
With cancer effecting the lives of everyone in one way or another, Halls said the concept of getting together to play darts every week to help someone with cancer was an easy sell and has been highly successful with as many as 18 two-person teams playing every week during a pair of 10-week sessions in both the fall and the spring.
This past fall’s season included 14 Wednesday night Pink Ladies teams, and also 10 Saturday night Pink Co-Ed teams. During the league, each player donates $5 per night ($10 per team) with all of that going to cancer patients. There is no prize money for dart players, Halls said, adding that everyone just pays and then plays for the fun of it. Game nights typically last a couple of hours, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and include a total of seven games – six of 501 and then the last game Cricket.
With a total of 24 teams per week contributing a total of $240 per week, this past fall’s league generated a total of $2,400 over the 10 weeks. Combined with the money raised during the spring league, this past weekend’s payout to cancer patients was then able to reach a total of $4,000.
“Giving them each $400 isn’t going to be able pay for a lot of their treatments, but it can help out with some of the other expenses like travel, food and lodging,” Halls said.
The league was originally set up to help ladies battling breast cancer, but Halls said they now donate to anyone – male or female – who is fighting any form of cancer. Who they donate funds to is simply based on whoever they happen to hear about that is fighting cancer. Halls said there are some people who they have donated funds to for multiple times over the years, if they are still having to incur expenses for their treatments, but they are always wanting to hear about more people in need of some financial help.
While most people are from Hot Springs, Halls said they have helped others from Buffalo Gap, Oral, Edegmont and Custer. Dart League players are all also primarily from Hot Springs, but they currently have a group that comes over to play each week from Edgemont as well.
In addition to Halls who coordinates the league and the fundraising, there are also four ladies who help organize the effort as well, including Michelle Ruhoff, Jackie Uhl, Madonna Spitzer and Carolyn Hertel.
Halls said they started holding an end-of-the-year Donation Day and Tournament a couple of years ago, so that they can get together one more time for a fun afternoon of darts and giveaway the money. But he said that if they hear of someone who is in need of funds after the Donation Day, they can oftentimes still approve funds to be provided in between the fall and spring seasons and outside of that donation day as well.
For more information about the dart league or to contact them about assistance, search for the Southern Hills Pink Ladies Dart League on Facebook.