Number of Participants: 1000
Hours Donated: 2
Value of Time Served: $16,900
Event Type: Health & Medicine
Date: September 23, 2023
Concord-Carlisle High School
Walden Street, Concord
In its 17th year, the highly anticipated annual “Kicks for Cancer” event returned to Concord-Carlisle High School on Saturday, September 23. This annual community event, hosted by the Friends of CCHS Men’s Soccer and run entirely by volunteers, raises funds to support research for the early detection of ovarian cancer.
This huge event was founded in 2007 with just one benefit game. CCHS coach Ray Pavlik wanted a heartfelt way to honor the life and spirit of Lois Wells, the mother of CCHS varsity soccer alums Steve and Dan Wells. Steve Wells has been an assistant coach with the program since 2003. Lois had lost her battle to ovarian cancer, and the CCHS players took the field that day wearing pink jerseys with “WELLS” on the back of each.
This year, thirty soccer teams played 15 games at CCHS throughout the day, kicking off at 9 a.m. and wrapping up nearly 12 hours later. Each player arrived with a game jersey bearing the name of a loved one they chose to honor – home teams wearing bright pink, away teams wearing teal. Once again, long-time Kicks for Cancer supporter Soccer Stuff in Acton painstakingly printed hundreds of personalized jerseys for each of the players to allow each of them the opportunity to honor someone special to them.
Many stayed for the day. Attendees arrived at a school campus that was transformed by volunteers for the day. Huge “Kicks for Cancer” signs greeted visitors, and dozens of pink traffic cones signaled that this was a special event. When visitors made their way to the upper playing fields, they found a festival environment with food vendors, merchandise sales, an opportunity drawing, and kids’ activities.
Well before the Saturday event, the school community kicked off the week on Tuesday with a “Links for Cancer” golf match at Concord Country Club. K’s for Cancer (cross country), Flicks for Cancer (ultimate frisbee), Tackles for Cancer (football), Sticks for Cancer (field hockey), and Digs for Cancer (volleyball) followed, all joining in to raise funds and awareness. Music ensembles (Picks for Cancer) had also planned to join the day, but a stormy forecast limited their participation. The weekend capped off with the Mighty Moose 5K fun run, founded in 2018.
Organizers report that in addition to the growing involvement by school-sponsored organizations, community involvement continues to gain momentum and 2023 saw the highest level of community engagement yet. In the week before the event, several local businesses hosted “pink” events and promotions, and donated proceeds to Kicks for Cancer in the true spirit of the “One Community One Goal” motto adopted several years ago.
“The way the event has grown over the years and has been embraced by not just the entire Concord/Carlisle community but by surrounding towns as well, is just amazing,” said Trish Siefer, the chair of Kicks for Cancer.
This community-wide commitment is having an impact. Although the 2023 tallies are not finalized, before kick-off this year the events had contributed a collective $2 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 2007. Before the event, Dr. Kevin Elias from Brigham and Women’s Hospital visited CCHS to explain to students how the funds their efforts raise support his groundbreaking work. With Dr. Dipanjan Chowdhury from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Elias is working to develop technology to detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stage, when survival rates are highest.
To learn more about Kicks for Cancer or donate, please visit www.kicksforcancer.org.