Number of Participants: 1
Hours Donated: 25
Value of Time Served: $211
Event Type: Health & Medicine
Sport: Boys Soccer
Date: October 24, 2023
Medway High School
Summer Street, Medway
The primary color for many of Medway’s athletic teams turns from blue to pink in October. The girls’ volleyball team hosts a yearly “Dig Pink” night – an event held at schools across the country in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Two days prior, Oct. 11, the field hockey program hosted a “Stick it to Cancer” event.
Soccer took its turn on Tuesday, thanks to the efforts of goalkeeper Kevin McMahon.
The junior was at Hanlon Field well before the Mustangs hosted a doubleheader with Dover-Sherborn, helping to set up tables and posting signs with QR codes to solicit donations. His goal? The event’s namesake: “Kick Out Cancer.”
The pink T-shirts he helped design were the garment of choice for many in attendance. Pink balloons formed an archway at the entry to the bleachers. McMahon’s inspiration for the event was his grandmother, Ellen Lemieux, a Framingham resident who died of lung cancer at age 66 on Oct. 9, 2020.
“She would always be here, supporting me on this field,” he said in between his prep for the event.
McMahon said the idea for “Kick Out Cancer” came to him earlier this year and as a way to both fill a void and pay homage to Lemieux.
“One night I was thinking (about) how I want to honor her,” he said. “I just decided: why not take this on for soccer? I emailed coaches; I emailed the athletic director. This could be something the soccer program could totally do. And it turned out to this.”
Athletic director Jeff Parcells said he was not surprised McMahon approached him with the idea.
“For him to come to schedule a meeting to meet with me to pitch this, I kind of chuckled because that’s Kevin,” Parcells said while wearing his pink “Kick Out Cancer” T-shirt during Tuesday’s girls’ game, which opened the doubleheader. “He’s just one of those guys who’s always trying to do the right thing.”
Dover-Sherborn’s girls defeated Medway, 4-0, late in the afternoon before McMahon took the field for the nightcap after sunset. Medway’s boys fell behind before rallying for a pair of goals two-and-a-half minutes apart to tie the Raiders, 2-2. Ben Martin set up Alex Stott for Medway’s first goal before his penalty kickevened the match with 13 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the match.
Chris Borden, who coaches the Mustang boys, lost his father, David, to cancer 12 years ago. His mother, Rosemary, died in 2022 while battling the disease.
“I was getting a little choked up myself just thinking about it,” said Chris Borden, who lauded McMahon for his efforts. “It really meant a lot to him. He really spearheaded it. It’s just an awesome experience – creating a project and leading it and getting it set up. I’m super-proud of him.”
Between McMahon’s fundraising site and the 170 T-shirts sold, the event raised more than $4,500. His original goal was $3,000 in honor of Lemieux’s birthdate, Dec. 3. Proceeds go to Dana-Farber Cancer Center and the Jimmy Fund.
Donors at Tuesday’s game received stickers and pins. Ribbons – for spectators to write the names of relatives and friends affected by cancer – were also available, a gesture that “symbolizes togetherness. You’re not alone in the fight against cancer,” McMahon said.
The turnout and generosity humbled McMahon.
“It’s just great noticing how much support both teams have for me and all the other people who are affected by cancer,” he said. “It’s just tremendous support from players, coaches and athletic directors. It’s great to see how Medway can come together so closely and how we have a very tight sense of community here.”
“Medway’s a small town and that can create its own drama,” Borden said, “but on the flip side, the best part of a small community like Medway is, everyone supports everyone.”
The month that brings out the pink – and generosity – in the community comes to a close on Tuesday. But because McMahon is a junior, there may be a chance for him to outdo himself next fall.
“He has a whole another year a high school left,” Borden said, “so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do with the same event next year.”
“This fundraiser was a meaningful endeavor for me, serving as a tribute to my grandmother’s memory and a way to provide support to others who’ve experienced similar challenges. I took the initiative to create the fundraiser, design the t-shirts, and pitch the idea to Mr. Parcells, our school’s athletic director. Collaborating with my family, we brainstormed ways to promote and enhance the fundraiser’s impact. Both teams enthusiastically participated in the event by purchasing shirts and showing their unwavering support. The fundraiser left a lasting impact on both me and our community, as the turnout of supporters was truly heartwarming, reinforcing the importance of the cause.” — Kevin McMahon.