2018-02-01 / Sports

Hooping for a Cure Basketball Game Honors LaTaunya Paquin, Tricia Smith

By Kevin R. Hess


LaTaunya Paquin, devoted Saints fan and a friend of Coach Dorene Ingalls, was honored during the 10th annual Hooping for a Cure “Pink Game” ceremonies prior to the tipoff of the game. Mrs. Paquin’s family was presented with a pink jersey that said “Love 4 LaTaunya,” and her name and jersey was added to a special display honoring devoted Saints fans. Presenting the jersey was especially hard for Coach Ingalls because of her personal friendship with Mrs. Paquin, and became more so when her family presented Coach Ingalls with Mrs. Paquin’s ashes to hold during the presentation and photograph. Pictured here are (back, from left): Mrs. Paquin’s brother David Grondin, father Tony Grondin, husband Steven Paquin, and Coach Ingalls. LaTaunya Paquin, devoted Saints fan and a friend of Coach Dorene Ingalls, was honored during the 10th annual Hooping for a Cure “Pink Game” ceremonies prior to the tipoff of the game. Mrs. Paquin’s family was presented with a pink jersey that said “Love 4 LaTaunya,” and her name and jersey was added to a special display honoring devoted Saints fans. Presenting the jersey was especially hard for Coach Ingalls because of her personal friendship with Mrs. Paquin, and became more so when her family presented Coach Ingalls with Mrs. Paquin’s ashes to hold during the presentation and photograph. Pictured here are (back, from left): Mrs. Paquin’s brother David Grondin, father Tony Grondin, husband Steven Paquin, and Coach Ingalls. Prior to the Hooping for a Cure basketball game between the St. Ignace Saints and Cedarville Trojans Tuesday, January 23, organizers of the event honored the families of LaTaunya Paquin and Tricia Smith, two women who passed away from cancer in 2017. Saints Coach and Hooping for a Cure organizer Dorene Ingalls presented each family with a special pink jersey with each woman’s name on it.


Cedarville alumnus Tricia (nee St. Onge) Smith was honored during the Hooping for a Cure ceremony prior to the “Pink Game” between St. Ignace and Cedarville. Mrs. Smith was graduated from Cedarville High School in 1997 and was a standout athlete for the Trojans. Mrs. Smith passed away in October from cancer. Her parents, grandparents, and brother were presented with a special jersey honoring her life. On the same evening, Mrs. Smith was being remembered in s similar cancer benefit game in Davison, where Mrs. Smith was living and teaching when she passed away. Her husband and sons were in attendance at that game. Here, Saints Coach Dorene Ingalls presents Mrs. Smith’s family with the special #20 jersey, the same number she wore in high school for the Trojans. Pictured are (from left): grandparents Dick and Bertha Carr, parents Dave and Deb St. Onge, brother Kevin St. Onge, and Coach Ingalls. Cedarville alumnus Tricia (nee St. Onge) Smith was honored during the Hooping for a Cure ceremony prior to the “Pink Game” between St. Ignace and Cedarville. Mrs. Smith was graduated from Cedarville High School in 1997 and was a standout athlete for the Trojans. Mrs. Smith passed away in October from cancer. Her parents, grandparents, and brother were presented with a special jersey honoring her life. On the same evening, Mrs. Smith was being remembered in s similar cancer benefit game in Davison, where Mrs. Smith was living and teaching when she passed away. Her husband and sons were in attendance at that game. Here, Saints Coach Dorene Ingalls presents Mrs. Smith’s family with the special #20 jersey, the same number she wore in high school for the Trojans. Pictured are (from left): grandparents Dick and Bertha Carr, parents Dave and Deb St. Onge, brother Kevin St. Onge, and Coach Ingalls. Tricia (nee St. Onge) Smith was graduated from Cedarville in 1997 and was a standout student athlete for the Trojans. She played basketball and volleyball, and ran track. She earned her degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University and was most recently living and teaching first grade in Davison. She passed away October 30. Her family said she had a strong spiritual and Christian foundation and found solace in sharing her positivity throughout her experience with cancer, through social media.


Before facing each other on the court, the St. Ignace Saints and Cedarville Trojans varsity teams were on the same team fighting cancer as part of the annual Hooping for a Cure fundraiser that benefits the oncology department of Mackinac Straits Health System and its No Cancer Patient Left Behind program. With the 10th annual contest this year, the program surpassed $150,000 raised since its first event in 2009. Members of the teams include (back row, from left): Manager Jackson Ingalls, Saints assistant coach Robin Kissinger, Trojans assistant coach Brad Causley, Elysia Causley, Madison Olsen, Kylee Call, Linnie Gustafson, Trojans Coach Ryan Wilson, Saints head coach Dorene Ingalls, Caroline Freel, Keshia Davis, Mackenzie Barr, Tasheka Battick, Alyssa Cloud, Saints Assistant Coach Dan Dean, Saints Coach Doug Ingalls; (front) Emily Coveyou, Jessie Frazier, Cassidy Barr, Tessa Shepard, Lily Freel, Abby Larsen, Rachael Rye, Hallie Marshall, Nadijah Wilson, Emmalee Hart, Anna Hart, and Saints Assistant Coach Morgan LaVake. Before facing each other on the court, the St. Ignace Saints and Cedarville Trojans varsity teams were on the same team fighting cancer as part of the annual Hooping for a Cure fundraiser that benefits the oncology department of Mackinac Straits Health System and its No Cancer Patient Left Behind program. With the 10th annual contest this year, the program surpassed $150,000 raised since its first event in 2009. Members of the teams include (back row, from left): Manager Jackson Ingalls, Saints assistant coach Robin Kissinger, Trojans assistant coach Brad Causley, Elysia Causley, Madison Olsen, Kylee Call, Linnie Gustafson, Trojans Coach Ryan Wilson, Saints head coach Dorene Ingalls, Caroline Freel, Keshia Davis, Mackenzie Barr, Tasheka Battick, Alyssa Cloud, Saints Assistant Coach Dan Dean, Saints Coach Doug Ingalls; (front) Emily Coveyou, Jessie Frazier, Cassidy Barr, Tessa Shepard, Lily Freel, Abby Larsen, Rachael Rye, Hallie Marshall, Nadijah Wilson, Emmalee Hart, Anna Hart, and Saints Assistant Coach Morgan LaVake. Coach Ingalls presented Mrs. Smith’s family with a #20 jersey, the number she wore in high school, to her parents, David and Debra St. Onge, her grandparents, Dick and Bertha Carr, and her brother, Kevin St. Onge. On the same night as the Hooping for a Cure game in St. Ignace, Mrs. Smith was being honored in a similar cancer benefit game in Davison. Her husband, Blake, and two sons, Gavin and Colson, were in attendance at that game.


St. Ignace and Cedarville junior varsity and varsity players, coaches, and managers were introduced to a packed house at LaSalle High School, along with jersey sponsors, to honor and remember many who have been impacted by cancer. Community members and local businesses sponsored the special pink jerseys as part of the fundraising efforts for the oncology department of Mackinac Straits Health System. Funds have been used to update and purchase equipment in the oncology department, and assist patients with gas and lodging needs when they must travel for medical appointments. “It takes a village to fight cancer,” said Dr. Ed Smith, oncologist at the St. Ignace hospital, in an address to the crowd before the tipoff of the varsity game. Members of the teams and their sponsors are pictured here after they were all introduced. St. Ignace and Cedarville junior varsity and varsity players, coaches, and managers were introduced to a packed house at LaSalle High School, along with jersey sponsors, to honor and remember many who have been impacted by cancer. Community members and local businesses sponsored the special pink jerseys as part of the fundraising efforts for the oncology department of Mackinac Straits Health System. Funds have been used to update and purchase equipment in the oncology department, and assist patients with gas and lodging needs when they must travel for medical appointments. “It takes a village to fight cancer,” said Dr. Ed Smith, oncologist at the St. Ignace hospital, in an address to the crowd before the tipoff of the varsity game. Members of the teams and their sponsors are pictured here after they were all introduced. 
Players and fans weren’t the only people decked out in pink for the annual “Pink Game.” Officials (from left) Elmer Albright, Dan Bruni, and Jeff Clark got into the spirit of the night, each purchasing their own pink jerseys and whistles to show their support for the event. Players and fans weren’t the only people decked out in pink for the annual “Pink Game.” Officials (from left) Elmer Albright, Dan Bruni, and Jeff Clark got into the spirit of the night, each purchasing their own pink jerseys and whistles to show their support for the event. LaTaunya (nee Grondin) Paquin, or “L.T.” as she was known to those close to her, passed away in Octo- ber, as well. She spoke at this event in 2013, shortly after she was initially diagnosed. Mrs. Paquin was graduated from LaSalle High School in 1990 and was a lifelong Saints fan who could always be found cheering on the teams. She took part in the 2017 homecoming parade in September, riding in the procession in a truck with her co-workers from the U.P. State Credit Union. It was the last Saints event that she was able to attend.

Coach Ingalls and Mrs. Paquin were close friends, and Coach Ingalls said, “L.T. loved the saying ‘Today is a great day to be a Saint.’” When the girls basketball teams returned to town after winning championships in 2013 and 2015, Mrs. Paquin was one of the first to greet the team and join in the celebration. Coach Ingalls presented her husband Steven, father Tony Grondin, and brother David Grondin with a pink jersey embroidered with the phrase, “Love 4 LaTaunya.” The family brought Mrs. Paquin’s ashes to the ceremony.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” said Coach Ingalls. “How awesome was that? I was already in tears, but that really got me going.”

Mrs. Paquin was also added to a board of “Forever Saints,” which honors Saints fans who have passed from cancer.

Return to top


Click here for digital edition
2018-02-01 digital edition