Lake Catholic plays kickball to raise more than $50,000 for children's cancer research

May 31, 2013  |  Posted by Matthew Skrajner

For the second straight year, hundreds of Lake Catholic students spent the day at the Mentor campus even though school wasn’t in session.

More than 40 kickball teams of about 10 people each participated in Kick-It for Cougars, a daylong kickball tournament that raised money for pediatric cancer research.

Leah Myers of Mentor was a member of religion teacher John Ellis’ leadership class during her senior year at Lake Catholic. After graduating on Thursday, the 18-year-old returned to school today to participate in the Kick-It event.

The leadership class began planning this event a few months ago with the help of the rising seniors who will make up next year’s leadership class. Myers’ role was to lead publicity efforts and to spread the word about the Kick-It event in the school and the community.

Part of Myers’ publicity effort included putting together a montage video that features students holding signs that read, “I’m Kicking it For…” with the students’ individual completions of the phrase. The event has been advertised throughout the school, and over the past week students could donate $5 to Kick-It to dress down.

“It’s continuously growing. We’re almost at our goal of $50,000,” Myers said.

The teams that win the tournament and raise the most money will earn invitations to Progressive Field on June 10, where teams from other area Kick-It fundraisers will play in another tournament. Myers added that for every $3,000 the event raises, the school will get to send another kickball team to Progressive.

Myers will attend Bowling Green State University next year to major in education. In the fall, she and the rest of Ellis’s leadership class will pass on the Kick-It tradition to the upcoming seniors.

“This whole event is in honor of six Lake Catholic students who have or have had cancer at some point in the past. We’re so excited we were able to get almost everybody participating,” Myers said.

In addition to supporting the families of the six students, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the national Kick-It organization.

Ellis, who helped organize the inaugural event last year, said even though $50,000 already had been raised, he expected that number to climb.

For every meal purchased at TGI Friday’s on Route 306 in Mentor on Friday and Saturday, 20 percent of the cost will be donated to the cause. Additionally, several raffles were held Friday to raise even more money. Prizes included footballs autographed by Joe Haden and Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns.

“And the adults raised only about $2,000 of it,” he said. “It’s just pretty amazing.”

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