The fifth annual Kicks for Cancer boys high school soccer festival, which has raised $43,000 toward fighting cancer since its inception, will be held this Saturday at Concord-Carlisle High School.
What began as a one game event in 2007 has now become a six-game affair, doubling in size from a year ago when six teams participated in three games that raised $15,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute last year.
“We wanted to try to grow the event last year, but we only had one field available,” said Concord-Carlisle athletic director Barry Haley. “Now, with the new fields we have the opportunity to do just that.”
This year’s festivities will showcase 12 of the top teams in the region, with two games being played simultaneously on the new side-by-side turf fields at Concord-Carlisle and will feature teams from the Middlesex, Bay State and Dual County leagues.
A hilltop perch at one end of the fields will provide fans with ample views of all of the action while the level ground on the opposite end will draw fans closer to the action.
“It is a loud, lively environment,” said Concord-Carlisle head coach Ray Pavlik. “The intensity around the whole facility picks up.”
Kicks for Cancer was created in memory of Lois Wells, a Concord resident and mother of former Concord-Carlisle goalie and current assistant coach Steve Wells. She passed away in 2007 after battling cancer.
“The event has turned into something special and so many people want to get involved with it,” Pavlik said. “These other teams that are participating have sacrificed their time and have given up a home game just to be a part of it and it’s amazing.”
The players will pay tribute by wearing specialized jerseys stitched with the names of loved ones who have been directly affected by cancer, a tradition in the festival.
“It’s a way for them to say we’re thinking of you and you’re in our minds,” said Pavlik. “These kids take great pride in this event and they know that there is something bigger that they are playing for.”
Spectators can enter drawings at the event to win vacation packages, an electronics bundle, Boston Bruins tickets, dinner-for-four and much more. There will also be plenty of concessions available, including barbecue and a gourmet grilled cheese truck. Some local youth teams will get the chance to participate in a halftime exhibition.
Tickets for a full day of great soccer action are $5 for children and $10 for adults. Donations are being accepted at http://cchsmenssoccer.com/kfc.html and clicking on the “Donate Now!!” tab. All proceeds benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Kicks for Cancer has raised $43,000 since its inception and with double the action this year, they hope to raise $30,000 towards advancing cancer research.
“You do feel that at the end of the day that you’ve made a difference,” concluded Pavlik. “It has been the highlight of my season since we started it.”
What: Kicks for Cancer
When: 3 p.m. Lexington vs. Belmont (TURF 1), Brookline vs. Newton North (TURF 2); 5:15 p.m. Reading vs. Woburn (TURF), Stoneham vs. Wakefield (TURF 2); 7:30 p.m. Concord-Carlisle vs. Lincoln Sudbury (TURF 1), Acton-Boxborough vs. Wayland (TURF 2).
Where: Concord-Carlisle High School
Price: $5 for children, $10 for adults
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