Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School helping to 'Kick' cancer to the curb

June 09, 2013  |  Posted by Ingrid Schaefer Sprague

A pair of siblings with cancer, 100 Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School students, and a few staff members volunteered to get their locks shorn last week to support pediatric cancer research.

Moreover, the school raised more than $31,528.28, a new record for BBHMS in four years, for Kick-It, an organization that raises funds for pediatric cancer research through kickball games.

Kick-It with the Bees, the school's title for their team efforts, organized several events to try to exceed previous years’ monetary goals to bring in $108,099 for this special cause.

Brother-and-sister team Brent Ramer and Lauren Ramer, who are both Kick-It Kids, had a friendly sibling rivalry that resulted in Brent having his newly grown locks, which had come back after chemotherapy, shaved off by his sister.

He bet Lauren that she couldn’t raise $250, but to “chop the mop” in front of the entire middle school class, Lauren surpassed $350.

Another memorable shave was given to Dale Vondereau, head custodian and stage crew director, who proudly sported a mullet prior to the challenge. Maria Schneider said Vondereau challenged the kids if they raised $300, he would cut his hair.

“We challenged him that if we got to $1,000 could we shave it, and that is exactly what happened!” said Schneider, coordinator of the school's Kick-It events. She added that sixth-grade teacher Nicole Soeder donated her hair as well.

The shaving of 100 students’ heads brought in more than $2,000. Student Ethan Mack said the experience taught him empathy for people who are suffering with cancer.

Kick-It Kids in the district include Jesse Reed, Lauren Ramer, Brent Ramer, Abby Mandalla and Lauren Berish.

The mass barbershop effort was one of several fundraising efforts by the children, including a dunk tank, Mother’s Day cards, Pick the Kick t-shirt contest, raffle tickets for an outdoor grill and $200 gift card, Kar Krooze car show, dress down days, and eighth-grade vs. faculty basketball game.

According to Schneider, all efforts were student driven.

“They had lemonade stands, car washes, bake sales, soccer game, softball game, and handmade items, such as duct tape wallets, ribbons, flip flops, pet rocks, herbs and bracelets,” she said. “We also held our ‘pirates and princesses’ party.”

Kick Bald and Kuttin It for Kick It hair was donated to Wigs for Kids and Pantene, depending on its length. Schneider thanked the many barbers and stylists from Studio J, Bella Toccare, Carlo's Barber Shop, Future Directions, Lee Marie Salon, Salon JaVon, Courtyard Barber, Dana Lauren East and West, Parkway Barber and Carla Bella Salon, as well as many other sponsors.

The children closed out the school year June 7 by playing 17 kickball gamesfor the pledges they received. Their reward will be playing kickball at Progressive Field June 10.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School alum Allison Glovna Clarke and her son Quinn created Kick-It when her son suggested that they raise money for cancer research since he has suffered with the disease from the age of two years old.

To date this grassroots nonprofit organization has raised more than $1.4 million. Quinn’s scans are currently clean, according to Schneider.

Clearly touched by the showing of support, Schneider said the students have amazed her beyond all measure.

“They come up with such amazing ways to raise money and give back!” she said. “I think I cry on a daily basis when one more envelope comes delivered to me with money and how they raised it to help make a difference in the life of a child with cancer.”

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