The Lady Flames, Lee University's women's soccer team, will host a benefit game on Friday, Sept. 12, to raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, whose local care center, Hatch’s House of Hope, provides children and their families with the tools needed to cope and thrive at the onset of pediatric cancer.
Winners of four NAIA national championships, the Lady Flames have used early-season games to showcase the AHF’s “Kickin’ It for Kids with Cancer” event for the past four years. This year’s benefit game is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, against Findlay University at the Lee Soccer Field.
“Along with enjoying an exciting night of soccer, families who attend the game will enjoy a host of other fun activities, including giveaways, half-time entertainment, and refreshments, all while making a difference in the lives of many who are affected by this disease,” said Lee Women’s Soccer Coach Matt Yelton.
Leading up to the game, team members will raise money by selling “Kickin’ It” shirts, an idea that resulted in more than 3,000 shirts sold last year and over $30,000 raised for the Foundation. Shirts can be purchased from a player or at participating locations: Cooke's Food Store, Gobble Automotive, Jenkins Deli, and Jordan's BBQ. Several local restaurants will also be donating a percentage of their proceeds to the foundation the week prior to the event.
The game date ties in with September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a time to honor and remember children and families affected by these rare diseases, and help rally support to give kids with cancer better outcomes by supporting ground-breaking research.
“This is a fund-raising initiative that is close to our hearts, in large part because it’s close to our home,” said Amy Jo Osborn, president of the Austin Hatcher Foundation. “The Lady Flames’ efforts to benefit the Foundation have been outstanding, a true example of a community coming together for a worthwhile cause. We are so very grateful to the good people at Lee University, and to all of our neighbors in Cleveland, for everything they do around this project.”
Coach Yelton adds, “We have not only enjoyed hosting this event and being part of something that is so much bigger than us, but we have been blessed by becoming closer to the Austin Hatcher Foundation and its families.”
The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer’s mission is to erase the effects of pediatric cancer and optimize each child’s quality of life through essential specialized intervention beginning at the time of diagnosis and continuing throughout survivorship. The foundation provides services to children with cancer, as well as their families, through its cancer care center, Hatch’s House of Hope. The foundation provides all services at no cost to the families. Services are funded solely by the generous donations of supporters.
For more information about the AHF, visit www.hatcherfoundation.org or contact the foundation via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Kickin It For Kids With Caner 2014, follow and like the Lady Flames “Kickin’ It” Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KickinItForKidsWithCancer.
Pictured here is Lady Flame Stephanie Surgener during the 2013 Kickin' It For Kids With Cancer game while fans wearing their Kickin’ It shirts fill the stands.