June 02, 2012 | Posted by Matthew Skrajner
More than 300 people, most of them students, braved cold and rainy conditions Friday at Lake Catholic High School.
They were out there to help battle childhood cancer as nearly 30 teams participated in a kickball tournament, along with enjoying food, games and giveaways. The effort was to raise money for the Kick-It program, which helps fund cancer research.
Religion teacher John Ellis learned of Kick-It after attending a teen leadership conference, and he brought the idea to Lake Catholic.
“I think it’s just such a great event,” Ellis said.
And besides that local connection, the fundraiser means a lot to the Lake community, Ellis said.
Sara Hudson and Erin Potter are two girls battling childhood cancer, and part of the money raised is going to their families, Ellis said.
Sara’s father, Scott, is a science teacher at the school and Erin is a Kirtland resident who is close friends with many Lake Catholic families.
While the original goal was to raise $6,000, Ellis said they had already brought in $20,000.
The money will be split up, with $10,000 going to Kick-It and $5,000 going to each family, he said.
Math teacher Frank Soria, who played on the faculty’s team, said the turnout was great considering the students did not have class and were participating on their own.
“The little rain dampened things a bit, but overall it’s been really nice,” Soria said.
Ellis would have liked to take credit for the event’s success, but he said that 16 students, who will make up Lake Catholic’s new teen leadership class next year, did nearly all of the work to raise money and gain sponsors.
“If you give the kids a chance, just look what they can do,” he said. “It’s a great experience of kids being empowered.”
Junior Sammy Kline, one of the students who helped organize the tournament, was chosen by the faculty to be in the class, and she accepted the invitation.
“I thought it’d be really cool and interesting,” Sammy said.
She was a member of the Comeback Kickers team that raised the most money of any team, more than $1,200. Because of this, the team will be invited to play against teams from other schools
at Progressive Field on June 8.
The students were really motivated by Ellis’s enthusiasm for the project and by hearing that Lake’s rival Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin also held a Kick-It event, Sammy said.
“Honestly, it kind of got us pumped up to do this,” she said.
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