Park Hill's Kick Out Cancer Classic hits milestone

RIVERSIDE, Mo. — The annual Kick Out Cancer Classic hit its five-year anniversary last week, and the Park Hill School District community helped hit another landmark.

More than $5,800 were raised with a silent auction during the C-team, junior varsity and varsity soccer matches between Park Hill and Park Hill South on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex. That brings the five-year total raised to more than $22,000.

ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo Park Hill freshman Mateo Zamora claps as he walks off the field prior to the Park Hill vs. Park Hill South varsity game serving as the Kick Out Cancer Classic on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo.  

ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo
Park Hill freshman Mateo Zamora claps as he walks off the field prior to the Park Hill vs. Park Hill South varsity game serving as the Kick Out Cancer Classic on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo.
 

“Thank you to everyone involved in helping us #UniteInTheFight,” Park Hill soccer coach Josh Marchbank tweeted out the following day.

Started in 2013, the Kick Out Cancer Classic is held during a match between the two intra-district rival schools.

The idea started with then-Park Hill junior Nick Hibbeler battling testicular cancer and retired Park Hill South coach Joe Toigo’s wife also battling cancer. The inaugural event brought players from Sporting Kansas City to the field.

All money raised in the five years has gone to The Victory Project, an initiative from Sporting Kansas City “that unites players, staff and fans to help children battling cancer — and all of life’s challenges.”

The Victory Project also started in 2013, launched to help local families with children diagnosed with cancer. The organization wants to unite “supporters, players and associates to make a tangible difference in the lives of children who are battling cancer.”

This year, the crowd held a moment of silence prior to the game.

All the players and coaches from each team wore special Kick Out Cancer Classic shirts— Park Hill South in purple and Park Hill in red. They lined up at midfield and held up signs dedicated to a person they know fighting cancer.

The Victory project also tweeted out its thanks to the two programs, calling the Kick Out Cancer Classic “one of our favorite events.”

“This is amazing,” another tweet said. “We are going to help some more deserving kids through your donation.”