Kickin’ It for Cancer a Huge Success
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The final tally is in and the USC Upstate women's soccer program raised $2,011 for the Gibbs Cancer Center with its Kickin' It for Cancer event on Feb. 26. The Spartans presented the check to Mike Kennedy, Director of Gift Planning prior to the softball game against South Carolina on Apr. 13.
"I want to thank Coach Lopez and her team for their fundraising efforts for the cancer special needs fund," said Kennedy. "I thoroughly enjoyed being on campus and interacting with the teams at the event. It was a great job!"
"I am amazed at the outpouring of support from friends and family to help in this cause," said head coach Renee Lopez. "I am so thankful for everyone who contributed to the success of this event."
Four different cancer survivors were at the event and signaled the start of the event with a honorary kickoff before the event started. Peter Hedderman (father of Upstate's Krystal Hedderman), Bennie Lynn (aunt of Upstate's Leigh Ward), Jean Fennell (grandmother of Upstate's Gabrielle Fennell and Limestone's Tillman Fennell) and Savannah Duke (daughter of Scott and Wendy Duke, friends of Upstate soccer) served as event starters with their kickoffs.
"I want offer a big 'Thank You' to Upstate for putting on this event to assist our patients here at the Gibbs Cancer Center who are in need," said Chad Dingman, the Outpatient Oncology Social Worker and chair the Special Needs Committee at the Gibbs Cancer Center. "As a result of donations like yours, we are able to offer crisis financial resources to cancer patients and families who would otherwise not be able to get services. This funding is essential in assisting those patients in need. We assist patients with needs such as medications, nutritional supplements, utility bills, lymphedema garments and transportation. Your kindness and altruism speaks volumes about the program you are running at Upstate, best of luck with the upcoming season and in the future. I am personally touched and honored at this gesture by your soccer team and staff."
Three individuals had a portion of their hair cut off for Locks of Love and eight inches or more will be donated to other organizations. Upstate head coach Renee Lopez and goalkeeper Sarah Plantz donated a portion of their hair as well as freshman forward Laurie Ryder (Southern Wesleyan). Cosmetology students from the Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology donated their time as they cut hair for the Locks of Love project.
"I am privileged to have been part of the Kickin' It for Cancer event," said Upstate midfielder/forward Gabrielle Fennell. "It was a priceless moment watching my Gran score a penalty kick and it was special also to have my sister playing as well. I have had two very important people in my life struggle with cancer. My Pa and Gran, who I loved so much, have passed, but I am so glad that the money we raised as a team is going to go to such a worthy cause and hopefully assist in the discovery of finding a cure."
"I donated my hair at the event to show how easy it is for anyone to give," said Upstate goalkeeper Sarah Plantz. "It seems like something so small to us, but to the person that receives the gift, it means the world to them."
Jason's Deli also helped in the cause as they donated a total of $98 after agreeing to donate 10 percent of its sales on Feb. 16.