Students Get a Kick Out of Raising Money for Camp Okizu

The fifth annual Kicks Against Cancer varsity soccer games raised more than $5,000 for children who attend Camp Okizu, a camp for cancer patients and their families.

“Camp Okizu provides peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs to meet the needs of all members of families affected by childhood cancer. The amount raised this year will help send five children to camp this summer,” reported Dan Molin, upper school athletic director.

The recent games were also a huge success out on the field. “Boys varsity started the double-header with a 6-0 victory over Pinewood. The girls also won by the score of 6-0 vs. Summit Prep,” enthused Chris Collins, who works with Molin as an assistant.

The upper school’s Davis Field was the scene of the match off against Summit Preparatory High School and Pinewood High School. Grade 12 students Apurva Gorti and Julia Fink served as Harker’s boys and girls soccer captains, respectively.

The Kicks Against Cancer event got its start four years ago as a collaboration between the Class of 2010 and the varsity soccer coaches. Since then, the event has continued to serve as an opportunity to raise money for Camp Okizu, which runs week-long camp programs in Berry Creek.

This year’s fundraising efforts included a bake sale and T-shirt sale (the $12 T-shirts served as tickets to the games). The soccer teams also used long lunch periods leading up to the games as an opportunity to sell beanies, full-sleeve purple shirts, visors, bracelets, and pens. Donations also were accepted during lunch periods.

As in previous years, faculty and staff were invited to pledge money for the number of goals the teams scored. There was even a silly half-time “butts-up” game in which students paid money to try and kick a ball at their favorite teacher’s backside. Game officials also donated their fees to the cause by officiating the games pro-bono.

“The organization and leadership of the fundraiser was all student-driven,” said Molin.

Does your school do something similar?

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