Okemos, Mason Fight Childhood Cancer with Soccer Game
Okemos soccer player Josh Duren saw his little sister beat cancer two years ago.
OKEMOS - Okemos hosts Mason in the fourth annual "Compete for a Cause" soccer game, played to raise awareness of childhood cancer, on September 26, 2015.
Okemos held a press conference Tuesday afternoon that discussed the growth of this game and it's goals in fighting cancer.
"Last year, the net amount raised was $11,000, and this year we are on track, I'd say, between $20- $25,000," Mason asisstant coach Kevin Gunns said at the press conference.
Mason head coach Nick Binder credits Gunns as the founder of the event.
"This idea was his brain child going back about four years ago," Binder said. "I think we did it with Parma Western for a year. We did it with Eaton Rapids for a year and then last year we brought in Okemos."
Okemos athletic director Ira Childress led the press conference and expressed his anticipation.
"The number one reason why we are excited is to be able to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, and this cause, and also to raise funds." Childress said.
"We are looking to get over 2000 people through the gates, and that would be a record for us."
When Okemos joined the event last year, funds raised grew over $9000 from the previous year.
"Last year we brought in Okemos, and this thing has really taken off," Binder said. "Bringing in that Mason, Okemos rivalry has allowed us really to bring a lot more attention to this game and to this event. It's two programs with a lot of history, multiple state championships."
The game will also mark the first ever night match hosted by Okemos soccer in program history. The Junior Varsity match will start at 5:30 p.m. Shortly after, the Varsity take the field at 7:30 p.m.
The money raised from both games will go directly to the St. Baldrick's Foundation and the Michigan State University Pediatric Oncology Clinic.