GREENFIELD — Members of the Greenfield-Central High School girls’ soccer team are looking forward to getting a few wins while at the same time raising awareness and funding for a good cause during its upcoming four-team tournament.
The Cougars are working with their booster club in hosting the Fourth Annual Kickin’ Cancer Tournament set for Saturday, Sept. 2 at the Greenfield-Central High School soccer fields.
The tournament was started back in 2013 by Erin Clark, the team’s head coach and Courtney Dunn, a former four-year Cougars player, after the passing of Dunn’s mother, Mindy Dunn, 44, of Greenfield, who died from cancer on Nov. 4, 2013.
Mindy Dunn was instrumental in starting the USF Real Soccer Club for local players who have been able to learn about the sport at a young age. Mindy Dunn was also well known in the community and her passing hit many people hard, said Eric Enochs, soccer parent and booster.
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Mindy Dunn died from cancer shortly after her daughter’s junior season in high school. That’s when Courtney Dunn asked her coach if they could have a cancer game to honor her mother and those who have passed and survived the disease.
Clark came up with the idea of creating a full tournament as a way to pay respect to cancer victims and also educate her players about doing things for others and making an impact in the world.
“Our girls play soccer, but this is something bigger than just soccer,” Clark said. “It’s good for our players to find a way to give back.”
That included getting the players to reach out into the community and secure sponsorship for the event.
The tournament is designed to honor those who have passed, survived, or are currently fighting cancer and to give hope to families who have been stricken by the disease.
This year’s goal is to raise at least $5,000 with all proceeds set to go to the American Cancer Association. Organizers will have shirts on sale at the tournament as well as luminaries for sale before and during the event.
Kayla Enochs, a senior goalkeeper for the Cougars, likes being part of an event with meaning and playing in the tournament, one she hopes will make a real difference in the battle against cancer.
“I’m just an average high school student who likes to play travel soccer and who has a part-time job, and sometimes it feels like I’m not contributing enough,” she said. “Doing this allows me to feel like I am doing something important for the community.”
The Cougars’ coach pushes her players to always be good teammates and reach out and help others as much as they can. She feels teaching them at a young age to care about things bigger than themselves is important.
“The first year the event was really just playing some games and trying maybe to raise a little money, but now it’s kind of come around to getting sponsorship because the more money we can donate, the better it will be,” Clark said.
There will be four soccer games during the one-day tournament. The teams playing include Knox High School, Decatur High School, Lawrence Central High School and Greenfield-Central.
There will be two preliminary games kicking things off at 2 p.m., then a consolation match following shortly after with the championship game set for 8 p.m.
In between the consolation and championship game last year organizers held a ceremony where everyone who has or is battling cancer was honored with a flower. A balloon was released in memory of those who have passed.
Those wishing to help support the fundraiser can email email@example.com and they will supply information on sponsorship and donation opportunities.