The Washington Redskins officially kicked off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Sunday with a variety of initiatives for their game against the Eagles.
Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, remembers photos from 17 years ago with the volunteers of Zeta Tau Alpha, pinning on pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness, helping start the NFL's league-wide mission.
Sunday morning -- several hours before the beginning of the Redskins-Eagles game -- that momentum continued, with more than 300 ZTA members gathering together for a few photos before spreading out and offering pink ribbons to fans entering FedExField.
"This is influencing these young ladies that are here, being able to reach out and touch our fans," Snyder said. "Today's a very important football game, but it's also extremely important to get the message out."
The message involved "A Crucial Catch," in partnership with the American Cancer Society, a league-wide mission that is focused on the importance of regular breast cancer screenings.
Throughout October, NFL games will continue to feature players, coaches, and referees wearing pink game apparel to help raise awareness for the campaign. During the morning, Snyder, along with the volunteers, made sure they did their part, handing out ribbons and interacting with women who, like herself, had battled and beaten breast cancer.
"It does have an impact on these 300 girls that are here and their future families," Snyder said. "And this is my next generation who is with me, from the time they were really young, [and] have been doing this as well. So, I'm really proud."
Snyder then made a visit to the eighth annual All-Star Survivors Celebration, a festive tent of pink that catered to 31 local women currently battling with breast cancer. Each of the women, who posed for photos with cheerleaders and received lunch, represented the 31 days of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The All-Stars received new jeans as well as new wigs, scarves and a Redkins gift bag along with a custom-made Redskins jersey.
The celebration ended right as the game began, with Snyder participating as an Honorary Captain for the coin toss at mid-field.
"We are making a difference in the community," She said. "We are getting the message out there; I hear stories every day from our fans, from being able to work with survivors while they're actually going through it and learning about that and letting them know that the money raised for American Cancer Society, 32 teams are donating money for screenings and we are effecting lives out there. Proud is a humble word, but these girls again made it happen, one ribbon at a time and one person at a time, and I'm so proud."