Who knew that a few soccer moms getting together to watch games would turn into the highest money-raising Relay for Life team in Pottawattamie County? For four years in a row!!!!
Yes, that’s right. The “Soccer Fanatics” as they call themselves are the top grossing “family and friends” team in Pott. Co. and it all started when Pam Mass’ mom got breast cancer. A group of moms met up each week to watch their kids play soccer, and each week, they got the update on Pam’s mom. The group consensus was that they needed to do something, and they did. They formed the Soccer Fanatics Relay for Life team to raise money for cancer research and development.
Eleven years later, the Soccer Fanatics have expanded their team, including the next generation, and through all the transition they’ve raised over $75,000 for finding a cure! Kathy Fox, the captain, says every year she thinks about hanging up her hat, and every year, she is re-inspired to continue the cause due to someone else’s diagnosis and her own reflection of one of her granddaughter’s being diagnosed with leukemia at age 2, many years ago.
Currently, the team of Kathy Fox, Pam Mass, Ellen Duysen, Kathy Cope, Lisa Fox, Jackie Akers, Cami Larison, Julie Tippery, and Angie Bush (plus a few extra walkers and helpers) has 3 cancer survivors, 2 caregivers, and 3 with family members fighting cancer as we speak. As Jackie Ackers, one of the group, pointed out: everyone knows somebody affected by cancer.
Every year, the group had done fundraising with t-shirts, raffles, etc, but 2 years ago, the group came up with the idea of a game night, and fundraising went to a whole new level! Last year came in over $11,000!
Possibly because of the universal understanding, possibly due to the passion of this group, or possibly because small town communities stick together, their idea to have a live auction, silent auction, supper, and game night worked! Every April, they change up the type of game, enlist volunteers to be contestants, and entertain the crowd at the Carson Community building! If you’re interested in attending, be sure to buy tickets early. They do sell out!
Yes, they sure have fun, but their real message is that cancer affects all of us. With each passing year, more advancements are made, more cancer types cured, and it is in part thanks to people like the Soccer Fanatics who volunteer their time to raise money and help fight a disease that hurts us all. Plus, not only do they volunteer, but they take pride in uniting the community along the way. So much good and love put into one annual project that again shows what makes the people of Pottawattamie County phenomenal…
PS – if you’d like to help out or be a part of it, check out the Soccer Fanatics on the Pottawattamie County Relay for Life page, they’ll be so thankful you did.
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