October Volunteer of the Month: Carole Morbitzer

Carole and Mike Morbitzer at the 2013 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.
Carole and Mike Morbitzer at the 2013 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

Carole Morbitzer is more than just a math teacher and volleyball coach at Hamilton Township High School – she’s a force to be reckoned with!  For the last 14 years, Carole has rallied her entire school to support Komen Columbus throughout the year with various fundraising activities, including a successful Volley for the Cure every fall.

If you have ever attended one of Race for the Cure events, you will surely remember the high school students leading the survivors as they proudly march to the survivor ceremony. These students energize the crowd, cheer on the survivors and set the celebratory tone that day and it’s all due to the passion and leadership of Carole.

“She motivates everyone with her enthusiasm and can-do attitude and also spends hours organizing a high school team for the Race for the Cure that has brought the most students downtown for the past seven years straight!” said Becca Thomas, events and marketing director at Komen Columbus. Because of her dedication, passion and support, we are proud to announce Carole Morbitzer as our October Volunteer of the Month.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?

During the 1999 volleyball season, I realized something unbelievable.  The mothers of 5 of my 28 players were at various stages of breast cancer.  After one of my senior players, Lindsey, told me that her mother only had six months to live, I knew I needed to do something.  I just didn’t know what.  That was when I first learned of Komen Columbus.  It was that year that I made a commitment.  I would spend the rest of my career getting my students involved in this fight.  I owed that to Lindsey and her mother.  I owed that to the other four girls and their mothers.  I owed that to any one of my students who was or would be affected by breast cancer.  Since then, the mothers of four more of my players were diagnosed with breast cancer and two of my aunts were diagnosed as well.  I am inspired everyday by all of these women.  Watching them fight this fight with their strength and courage inspires me to continue to volunteer.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus? 

My favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus is seeing my students on Race Day.  The students add so much excitement to the race…the pink tights, pink boas, and pink capes.  What I love, however, is that they understand that it is about more than just crazy pink outfits!  They celebrate with the Survivors.  They hug the Survivors.  They cry with the Survivors.  They get it.  They walk away from the race with a passion for this cause and participate year after year.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?

I would definitely have to say that the most memorable moment I have experienced with Komen Columbus was in 2011 when I was honored with the Komen National Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.  It is still unbelievable to me.  I have witnessed the amazing individuals and volunteers who work with Komen Columbus and was so honored to represent all of them and our incredible Affliliate…the best affiliate I should add!  When I first learned of the award, I called my mom.  My husband already knew because he was in on the surprise announcement!  After I got off the phone with my mom, I called Lindsey, my senior volleyball player who lost her mother to breast cancer.  We both cried.  She, along with those other four girls, were reason why I became involved with Komen Columbus.  I will never forget the night Lindsey stood in the parking lot in the rain after a volleyball match and told me about her mother.   Every year, I see Lindsey at the Race for the Cure and every year I give her a hug and tell her that I still think of her mom.

The Hamilton Township High School Rangers at the 2013 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.
The Hamilton Township High School Rangers at the 2013 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do? 

The Morbitzer family stays very busy!  My husband Mike is the Assistant Principal at Hamilton Township High School, where I am a mathematics teacher and volleyball coach, and our children Anthony (9th grade) and Sarah Sue (6th grade) go to school in our district. As the varsity volleyball coach for Hamilton Township, we spend many evenings in the gym!  Anthony plays football and baseball and Sarah Sue plays club volleyball.  We spend hours at school events or at Sarah’s volleyball tournaments…me and Sarah go to the volleyball matches and the boys go fishing!  Although we spend so much time at these activities, we are together!  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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