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High School Athletes Volley for the Cancer Challenge

BENTONVILLE, AR-- On Thursday night, teens participated in a volleyball tri-match between Bentonville, Shiloh Christian, and Heritage High Schools.
BENTONVILLE, AR-- On Thursday night, teens participated in a volleyball tri-match between Bentonville, Shiloh Christian, and Heritage High Schools.

It's all to raise money for The Cancer Challenge, a non-profit organization in Northwest Arkansas.

Volleyball players competed for the win, without the help of Bentonville High School senior player, Natalie Phelan.

Phelan said, "I tore my meniscus one day when we were running sprints. It was a little disappointing but you know, life goes on. I get to watch our awesome team play."

As the rest of her team plays in the Teen Cancer Challenge, she's content with cheering from the sidelines.

Phelan said, "I'm one of the louder ones on the team."

She's proud of what her friends are playing for... raising funds to support cancer programs and services.

Erin Rongers, Executive Director of The Cancer Challenge organization said, "All of the money that we raise stays local and we are giving it to organizations that are helping people right here in Northwest Arkansas."

Rongers is a cancer survivor. She knows the importance of raising funds, but also awareness... especially among teenagers.

Rongers said, "I had cancer when i was 17-years-old. I was their age. It's something that I didn't know anything about at that time. We were able to come out and show them ways that they can prevent cancer and reduce their risk."

When players clear the court at the sound of the final buzzer, Rongers hopes everyone walks away feeling a strong sense of community support.

Phelan said, "I have had family experience with it and know people who have gone through skin cancer so it's definitely a big thing for our team to be supporting this."

Rongers said, "Getting them involved at a young age and also educating them about their risks is so important. It really makes a difference."

All money raised at Thursday's event goes to The Cancer Challenge.The non-profit organization then grants that money to local organizations.

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