“Compete for a Cause” Soccer Game Raises over $25,000


Johnny Mocny, Entertainment Editor

This year’s “Compete for a Cause” soccer game brought success on and off the field.

Last year’s game in Mason managed to raise $11,000 to fight against childhood cancer, according to Mason’s athletic director, Greg Lattig.

The goal this year was to raise twice as much money, a goal that proved to be more than attainable since the proceeds from the game have reached $25,000 and counting, according to Okemos athletic director, Ira Childress.

“A soccer game is gonna be played that’s bigger than all of us involved in it,” Childress said. “This is something that’s going to help bring awareness and raise money for a great cause in childhood cancer.”

Childress addressed cancer and why it is important to defeat it.

“September is childhood cancer month, but obviously looking at it on a deeper level, cancer has affected almost every person that I know, including myself, in some way, shape, form, or fashion. So it is something that is an ongoing fight daily for all of us to try to do what we can to help defeat cancer,” Childress said.

Keith Miller, an assistant soccer coach at Okemos expressed enthusiasm toward the game as well.

“Quite frankly it has affected our program heavily and to just sit back and do nothing would probably be the easiest thing in the world, and why should we do that when we can probably use a big game such as Okemos versus Mason to raise money for a great cause?” Miller said on the topic of cancer.

Miller went on to express his personal affinity for the cause.

“I’m a cancer survivor. It’s never good news, but I was told ‘There’s a high cure rate. You’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be sick for a little while, but things should work out fine.’ Well if there wasn’t funds raised and research done, I wouldn’t have gotten that news. The more I hear about it, there’s a lot less attention being paid to the pediatric cancer and all people should be receiving that news, too,” Miller said.

This year is the first year the Compete for a Cause game has been held at Okemos. Childress and Miller both expressed their excitement toward this event.

“We’re really excited about it. We’re bringing in lights. First ever night game, so everyone there gets a chance to be a part of Okemos history, so that’s something within itself,” Childress said. “We’re looking to have over 2,000 people to attend this event.”

Childress continued, saying that this year’s event looks to be the most successful, and Miller showed agreement on the topic.

“When it was originally proposed to us, we wanted to do it at night, like Mason did, so everyone could come out, but obviously we don’t have lights. So we had talked about that we might host it at an alternative site, and Mr. Childress was quick to step in and say ‘No, no. We’ll host this. We’ll find a way to have a night game at Okemos.’ It’s historical. And what a better cause to do it for?” Miller said.

As of Oct. 2, the total amount raised continues to climb as late donations are made.