Just a few weeks ago, it appeared there would be no Pink Arrow football game this fall. The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced the sport’s season would be moved to the spring, leaving Pink Arrow Pride looking for alternative ways to help fund Gilda’s Club and pay for family support programs for those fighting cancer locally. Then, the MHSAA reversed course and said the season could go in the fall as usual.
“Everything turned on a dime,” says Pink Arrow Pride organizer Teresa Beachum.
Once the new game date of September 25th was announced, Beachum and her crew of volunteers went into action. Between the MHSAA limiting spectators in the stadium to two per player and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was obvious that traditional Pink Arrow events could not occur.
Instead, Pink Arrow Pride is hoping cars will fill Recreation Park in the City of Lowell on Friday night so residents can watch the Lowell Pink Arrows duel the Northview Wildcats on the big screen. Gates open at the park – which is more commonly known as the fairgrounds – at 6pm with a kick-off time of 7pm.
Pink Arrows on the Big Screen
With MHSAA restrictions making the Bob Perry Stadium at Lowell High School off-limits for most of the community, Beachum needed to find a way to broadcast the game to a wider audience. For help, she turned to local businessman Marty Chambers.
Chambers had previously helped organize a comedy night at Recreation Park and was happy to help. “He’s been making this happen,” Beachum explains.
A big screen was ordered and a camera found that would be able to project the game clearly even during daylight hours. The high school radio station, WRWW 92.3, will broadcast the game play-by-play so people will be able to listen on their car stereo while watching the action livestreamed on the big screen. Food trucks are expected to be at the event as well.
For the Pink Arrow game, each team member selects a person affected by cancer and plays in their honor. “Halftime will be a video of each player honoring the person on his jersey,” Beachum says. After the game, those jerseys will be delivered to the person honored or his or her family.
While the 2020 Pink Arrow game won’t be the same as in years past, Beachum hopes the drive-in will be an opportunity for the community come together to support both the high school football team and a good cause.
“We want to keep Gilda’s Club here in our community,” Beachum says. Money from Pink Arrow is instrumental in supporting the Lowell Gilda’s Clubhouse, which hosts support and grief groups for those affected by cancer and other tragedies. Money from the event also funds the Pink Arrow family support program which provides direct assistance to Lowell families touched by cancer. Beachum stresses, “Monies generated from [this event] carry us all of next year for our family support.”
To help support the cause, Sweet Seasons in downtown Lowell will be selling pink cookies and cupcakes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with all proceeds going to Pink Arrow Pride.
How to Attend the 2020 Pink Arrow Game
Those planning to attend the Pink Arrow Drive-In should head south on Hudson Street from Main Street and use the fairground entrance to the right. This is the entrance that curves around and under the bridge.
If everyone inside your vehicle is wearing a current Pink Arrow XIII shirt, admission for your car is free. Shirts from previous years aren’t eligible for free admission. If you don’t have current shirts for your family and prefer not to buy them, the cost of admission is $40 per vehicle.
Pink Arrow XIII shirts will be available for purchase at the game or can be bought in advance at one of the following area stores:
- Fans in the Stands
- Red Barn Market
- Heidi’s Farmstand
- MI Hometown Furnishings
Shirts are $20 for most sizes with an extra charge for sizes 2XL-5XL.
Beachum stresses that people cannot walk into the fairgrounds, and teens and pre-teens should not be dropped off by parents to watch from the grass. Because of state restrictions on the size of outdoor gatherings, it is imperative that everyone remain in their vehicles to watch the game. When exiting their car to use the restroom or buy food, spectators are asked to wear a mask.
“This is us making the best of a bad situation,” Beachum says. Although the circumstances may be less than ideal, she hopes families will hop in their cars on Friday night, head to the fairgrounds and cheer on the Pink Arrows alongside their friends and neighbors.