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Chapan's 2015 BPV team, the "Mammo Slammers." Chapan is on the far right.
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"Mammo Slammers" Team Captain Competes for a Cure

November 12, 2015

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MACOMB, IL – Denis Chapan, a Western Illinois University graduate student studying psychology, recently returned to the court after taking a year off from participating in WIU's annual Big Pink Volleyball tournament (BPV).

Chapan has played BPV five out of the past six years and has been a part of a winning team four of the years he has participated.

"The first time I played Big Pink was during my sophomore year as an undergrad. I was an RA in Thompson Hall, and since Big Pink is its capstone event, I got a group from my floor to form a team," said Chapan.

The tradition began at WIU in 2002. The goal of BPV is to help fund breast cancer research. Funds raised through the tournament are split between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation (Peoria, IL affiliate) and the McDonough District Hospital (Macomb, IL) Mammogram Assistance Program.

Chapan continued to participate in BPV his junior and senior years as well as his first year as a graduate student. After taking a year off, Chapan decided to play for his fifth time this October, and took home his fourth win.

This year, 928 players (122 teams) participated in the tournament.

Winning 2015 BPV teams included:

Club and Organization Bracket Winner: Cute and Fluffy
Residence Hall Bracket Winner: TP5
Greek Bracket Winner: The Betas
Faculty Bracket Winner: Becky's Brigade
Overall Winner: The Mammo Slammers

Chapan said that he likes to participate in BPV because he has a cousin who had a double mastectomy. The cause hits home for his family and he is glad to know he is helping.

According to Matt Schaefer, a graduate assistant for recreation events at Campus Recreation, Western's 15th annual BPV raised a total of $6,493.26.

Breakdown of funds raised:
Tshirt Sales: $1720.26
Entry Fees: $4,640
Donations: $133
Total: $6,493.26

In 15 years, BPV at WIU has raised $118,457. Of that, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has received $56,905.28 and McDonough District Hospital has received $61,550.84. Of the 70 percent donated to MDH, 35 percent is donated to Linda's Fund and the other 35 percent is donated to Outreach Services.

Outreach Services allow MDH to come to WIU's campus to test sun damage and bone density.

"Big Pink is really a novel way to raise money for a great cause offered at WIU," said Chapan.

Big Pink Volleyball is sponsored by Thompson Hall (University Housing and Dining Services) and Campus Recreation.

Posted By: Caitlin Meyers (
Office of University Relations