Number of Participants: 1000
Hours Donated: 5
Value of Time Served: $42,250
Event Type: Health & Medicine
Date: September 24, 2022
Concord-Carlisle High School
Walden Street, Concord
On Saturday, September 24, high school soccer players wearing bright pink and teal jerseys once again flocked to the fields at Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) for the 16th annual Lois Wells Memorial Kicks for Cancer. From early morning until the final whistle blew well after dark, Kicks for Cancer brought together men’s and women’s teams from 20 surrounding communities to build awareness with fans and to raise funds to advance ovarian cancer early detection research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Kicks for Cancer was started in 2007 when Ray Pavlik, head coach of the CCHS men’s varsity soccer team, sought a way to support assistant coach Steve Wells and his brother Dan after their mother, Lois Wells, lost her courageous battle with stage IV ovarian cancer (both brothers are alumni of the CCHS soccer program). Pavlik rallied the team for a soccer game where CCHS players wore pink jerseys with “WELLS” on the back. The event raised $8,000 to support women’s cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Today, Kicks for Cancer has grown to a full-day extravaganza with 16 soccer matches, as well as field hockey games (“Sticks for Cancer”) and volleyball matches (“Digs for Cancer”) featuring hundreds of players all wearing bright pink or teal jerseys bearing the name of a loved one they had chosen to honor. This year, the community once again turned out in force with hundreds in attendance for the marquee evening soccer games under the lights.
Kicks for has become a sign of fall and a celebration of community each September, and in the weeks leading up to the event, bright pink and teal lawn signs in the shape of the Kicks for Cancer jersey show up in front of businesses and residences throughout Concord, Carlisle, and beyond. “It’s amazing to see dozens of communities come together every year to raise money for Dana-Farber,” said Trish Siefer, chair, Kicks for Cancer. “We’re excited to see how Kicks continues to grow so we can make an even bigger impact towards cancer research.” Siefer was quoted in an article featured in this summer’s edition of Dana-Farber’s Impact magazine.
The contagious spirit of Kicks for Cancer continues to spread, with more groups joining in the effort this September. “Kicks Weekend” began Wednesday this year, with the CCHS ultimate frisbee team’s “Flicks for Cancer” match-up. Their effort was followed by the football team’s “Tackles for Cancer” on Friday, and the (post-COVID) return of the beloved Pink Dance that night, sponsored by CCHS student government. On Saturday, field hockey and volleyball competed in “Sticks for Cancer” and “Digs for Cancer,” respectively, adding four matches to the day. The Mighty Moose 5K, which originated in 2018, was held the morning after.
Over the years, these events have come together to celebrate “One Community, One Goal” and by 2021 had contributed nearly $1.4 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The numbers for 2022’s events are not yet finalized, but in 2021, Kicks for Cancer broke its previous annual fundraising record, donating over $116,000 to support a joint research lab headed by Dr. Dipanjan Chowdhury (Dana-Farber) and Dr. Kevin Elias (Brigham and Women’s Hospital). Drs. Chowdhury and Elias are doing critical work to develop a groundbreaking new blood test for early detection and diagnosis of ovarian cancer.