Polly Hylant-Tracy lost her battle with cancer in 1990. Her husband, three daughters, and family wanted to remember her in a special way, and considered many options, including a memorial bench or planting trees at a Metropark, reflecting her love for the outdoors. As the family pondered, an idea was realized. Hosting a volleyball tournament in her honor, as the large family often played the sport in Polly’s backyard. Thus, “Pollyball” was born.
What began as a small fun and fund-raising event at the LaJolla beach volleyball courts formerly off Reynolds Road, attracting 20 teams who paid and played on behalf of the American Cancer Society, has grown into the huge event held every August at the beach volleyball courts at International Park.
Over the past 28 years, Pollyball has raised nearly $1,000,000 to support breast cancer detection and awareness programs, including ACS, the YWCA as well as MCO for cancer research, The Victory Center and Reeling and Healing Inc.
Proceeds from this event assist greatly in funding the Healthy Connections program of the YWCA. The YWCA of Northwest Ohio’s Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Program is a comprehensive education and breast cancer resource center.
Breast health education sessions are provided free of charge to various community agencies, shelters, apartment communities, senior centers, clinics, health fairs, and any other areas where underserved women congregate.
YWCA Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Program also provides connection to no-cost or low-cost mammography through several programs in the area, services to ensure follow-through with mammography include mailing reminder cards, telephone and written contacts, transportation to related appointments, and gift incentives sent to every woman who completes her mammogram.
YWCA Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Program provides free intensive case management services to women with abnormal breast symptoms and/or breast cancer diagnosis, regardless of income or any other circumstances. Staff accompanies patients to medical appointments and home visit; provides transportation and linkage to psycho-social programs to address non-medical needs; provides support for the family, and ensures that the patient understands all medical information and treatment options given by healthcare providers.