Last Friday’s Kick-A-Thon before the football game between St. Charles East and host St. Charles North came early this year. But the kickers were in late-season form.
The 19th annual event, presented by the drill teams of the two high schools as a fundraiser for the Fox Valley Chapter of the American Cancer Society and the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva, drew a record 150 kickers extending along the home sideline into the end zones.
Unlike last year’s event, which came on the last Friday of the regular season, St. Charles North co-chairs Shirley Wehking and Diana Artman and St. Charles East co-chairs Molly Craney and Rosanne Grenfell had to get everything done for the Cross-Town Classic in Week 3.
“It was definitely much sooner, so it was harder to kind of get the word out, but we’re hoping that it did,” said Craney, whose daughter, MacKenzie, is a sophomore on the Saints’ varsity drill team.
Evidenced by the number of kickers enlisted it did, surpassing even the 144 kickers at last year’s event, which was then the record. Seven people even signed up as a team, a Kick-A-Thon first.
Molly Craney said the pregame kicking line included retired coach Buck Drach (whose late wife, Rose, was the inspiration), Kick-A-Thon originator Kari Batka, principals Kim Zupec and Charlie Kyle, District 303 Superintendent Dr. Donald Schlomann and St. Charles Mayor Donald DeWitte. American Cancer Society regional vice president Chris Hensley and LivingWell executive director Nancy Vance were also among the distinguished guests.
“We had Chris Hensley from the American Cancer Society, and he spoke,” Craney said. “The LivingWell folks came, and we won the game, it was great. You can tell which side I’m on.”
With the Kick-A-Thon there’s no loser. It has raised more than $600,000 for the two charities. The amount of this year’s donations will be revealed at halftime of the East-North boys basketball game of Jan. 18, 2013, and since this year’s Kick-A-Thon came so soon, donations may be made until then. Visit kickathon.org to do that and learn everything you’d ever want to know about the event.
“It’s a big night for the girls because they’ve heard the stories of the people cancer has affected and they’ve been touched by it, and then they know why it’s so important to raise money for the Cancer Society and LivingWell,” said Diana Artman, whose junior daughter Lexi did her 100 kicks for a third time. “There’s a lot of them who have lost friends and relatives to cancer, and it hits home.”
Posted on Thu, September 13, 2012
by Dave Oberhelman