Volcanoes hosting cancer awareness game

Volcanoes Stadium

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have been honoring local cancer survivors, and those who have lost their lives to the disease, at the ballpark for nearly two decades.

Even though it will look different than years past, the organization is keeping that tradition alive this fall.

In collaboration with the Corban College baseball team, the Volcanoes will be hosting a cancer awareness game on Thursday, Oct. 1, giving special recognition to those who have survived cancer on the first day on Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

During a normal year, the Volcanoes would host their annual Cancer Awareness Weekend in the first weekend of August. But even with the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the season, the organization felt like it was a priority to somehow organize a baseball game to honor survivors of cancer.

“We wanted to do whatever we could to keep this thing going,” Volcanoes CEO Mickey Walker said. “After a bunch of us did some brainstorming, we knew we could make this work. It has been something that we have been extremely proud to put on.”

The game will serve as an intersquad scrimmage for Corban, with half of the players putting on Volcanoes jerseys to represent the home team. Game time is 6:35 p.m.

Cancer survivors can email Volcanoes owner Jerry Walker ([email protected]) and request free tickets to the game, compliments of Dr. Bud Pierce of Oregon Oncology Specialists — who is also one of the founders of the Cancer Awareness weekend.

Only 250 people will be allowed in attendance for the game and social distancing protocols must be followed.

For the Walker family, cancer awareness hits close to home. Lisa Walker, co-owner of the Volcanoes and wife to Jerry, is a cancer survivor and was treated by Dr. Pierce.

“Dr. Pierce saved my mom’s life. We know how much cancer can affect families. That’s one of the reasons we take so much pride in honoring cancer survivors,” Mickey Walker said.

Even though most of the stadium will be without fans, the Volcanoes are hoping to fill up seats in a different way.

For $30 each, Volcanoes fans can have a cardboard cutout image of themselves in a seat, or have the cutout be a shrine to a loved one that was lost to cancer, or someone that is not able to attend the game in person. The cutouts will be available to keep after the game. For details on how to submit photos, email Jerry Walker. Submission deadline is Sept. 15.

The organization will be providing gifts to all cancer survivors in attendance. Then, the evening will conclude with a fireworks show.

“Our hope is to honor and recognize those who have affected by cancer and for them to enjoy a great baseball game,” Mickey Walker said.