Strikers fundraiser helps give some kids a future

Opinion

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Through the volunteer efforts of a great many people both with the Oak Park-River Forest Strikers and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Kicks For Cancer fundraiser took place last month during the Strikers' week-long preseason soccer camp. Approximately 300 Striker youth soccer players participated in this soccer skills event, improving their juggling skills and, in the process, collecting over $15,000 in pledges from community members. It exceeded expectations both in raising over twice the projected amount of funds and in providing a forum for our youth soccer players to see that their efforts can make a direct impact on the health of children with cancer. This program was a tremendous success in every way!

We thank Wednesday Journal and Brad Spencer for their part in telling our son's story of fighting and surviving cancer and in promoting the Kicks For Cancer fundraiser. We also thank the Strikers' players who sought pledges, all the donors, the Striker board and, particularly, Michele Donley, for supporting this effort, as well as those who volunteered at the event. The success of this pilot program provides the impetus for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to introduce this fundraiser to other soccer clubs in Illinois and nationwide.

Just as our family was overwhelmed by community support when our son Brad was ill, we are again amazed at the generosity and hard work that so many offered to make this fundraiser work! Through past advances in child cancer treatment, Brad is living one of his dreams as a varsity player on the OPRFHS soccer team. This fundraiser will help ensure that others stricken will benefit from further advances in pediatric cancer research.

We once again recognize how incredibly fortunate we are to live in the supportive communities of Oak Park and River Forest. Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts.

David, Dale, Allison, Brad and Ryan Clarke

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