• 86°

Soccer league seeks big score against breast cancer

The South Point Youth Soccer League is hosting the third annual soccer tournament, Kickin’ for a Cure III, to raise money for fighting breast cancer.

The tournament will be Nov. 6 and 7, with a family fun night on Nov. 5 at the old South Point High School.

The event started in 2008, and has grown each year. Chris Smith, SPYSL president, said the event started out small, lining the fields in pink and playing with pink soccer balls.

“Last year we incorporated a family fun night and a raffle,” he said. “This year we are going to have the same type of things. Family fun night is Friday night, with two live music groups, open to the public for free.”

Paydirt, a band from Ironton with a country-pop style, and Bridget Reynolds from Symmes Valley will be performing.

Smith said the family fun night will also include games, food and face-painting. Both local groups have donated their time. The family fun night will have inflatables for the children.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to the St. Mary’s Medical Center Breast Cancer Fund, with concession proceeds going toward the youth soccer league. Last year, the league was able to donate $2,500 to the breast cancer fund.

The proceeds from the raffle will also benefit the breast cancer fund. The league will be raffling off a 42-inch flat-screen television and a Nintendo DSi, with tickets currently being sold by league members and also being sold during the tournament.

Tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5.

In 2008, the league wanted to do a tournament, and with October being breast cancer month and the league had many people touched by breast cancer in some way, this made perfect sense.

In 2009, the tournament took on an even more personal note for Smith. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Last year, she spent the first week after her treatment helping out at the tournament,” he said. “It hit close to home.”

Anne Hammack, clinical manager of the breast center at St. Mary’s, is very pleased with the league’s invovement with the center.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “They donate the money to our pink-ribbon fund, which pays for mammograms for patients without insurance or low coverage.”

Hammack said having money in the fund helps people who would see financial hardship as an obstacle to getting a mammogram.

“Anyway we can help with early detection, it’s better for everyone,” she said. She added that getting a mammogram is critical for early detection of breast cancer.

“We encourage all women age 40 and over to have an annual mammogram, and prior to that if there is anything unusual,” she said.

There will be a silent auction during the family fun night, with proceeds benefiting two South Point High School students undergoing cancer treatments to help cover medical expenses.

Smith said the league is still looking for donations for the auction from area businesses or individuals. Any donations can be dropped off at Bob Linn Sporting Goods at 212 N. Second St., Ironton.

Smith said people can benefit from the tournament in many ways.

“Honestly, I hope that we can raise awareness of breast cancer, and help people understand that mothers and daughters need to watch out for it and be aware of it,” Smith said.

“I also want our kids to learn to give back and be involved in the community,” he said. “It’s a twofold thing.”

Smith can be contacted by phone at (740) 646-3842 or by email at csmith@spyouthsports.com for more information.