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Students raise funds for research

Ann Marie Jakubowski | Monday, October 3, 2011

Sorin College’s second annual Kick It for Kevin kickball tournament Sunday raised enough money to lead to a donation to pediatric cancer research.

The tournament is held in memory of former resident Kevin Healey, who died two years ago after a battle with cancer.

“Kevin was really a charismatic person, and a kickball tournament kind of epitomizes the type of guy he was,” Sorin College president, junior Andrew McKernan, said.

Healey was a member of Notre Dame’s class of 2011 and a Sorin College resident. He died of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in 2009.

Sorin College vice president junior Max Maier, who organized the event, said the tournament really proved the strength of community present at Notre Dame.

“I think it says a lot about the men of Sorin College as a whole that we can come together to remember one of our own every year through a fun-loving game of kickball,” Maier said. “I don’t think such an event would be possible without the tight-knit community present both in Sorin College and at Notre Dame.”

For $3 per person, teams of 5 -10 players could compete, with all proceeds going to the CureSearch for Children’s Cancer research fund. Most of the competitors were Sorin residents, although several teams from other dorms participated as well.

The kickball event was held at McGlinn Fields.

Freshman Sorin resident Justin Dancu participated in the tournament, which he said was a success overall.

“It was a fun way to help a good cause,” he said. “It was pretty relaxed which made it fun too.”

Even though Healey passed away before Dancu arrived at Sorin, Dancu still found the event moving and meaningful.

“I thought it made people remember and sometimes even ask about Kevin’s story, and it helped raise awareness for pediatric cancer research,” Dancu said.

McKernan said enough teams signed up to cover the event’s costs, and have money left over to donate.

He said the idea for a kickball tournament came from the success of other campus-wide athletic events, such as the Bookstore Basketball tournament or the Lose the Shoes soccer tournament.

“It’s only the second year, and we had a pretty good turnout,” McKernan said. “We’re very happy that we made money to give to the fund, but in the future, our goal is to make it a more prominent campus event like the Fisher Regatta or Muddy Sunday.”

Sorin College plans to improve advertising and work on increasing participation in the future.

“It’s really a question of advertising and persuasion,” McKernan said. “We’d be set for a tournament if we had one team, 5-10 people, from every dorm.”

The logistics of this year’s event included poster printing, organizing sign-ups in the dining hall, and getting the necessary snacks and kick balls.

“Fortunately, we had a great group of guys this year who were more than willing to help out,” Maier said. “Most of the work just went into advertising.”