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‘Together We Care’ for CDI

Ninth-annual soccer cancer benefit Oct. 2 at Harding Stadium

READY TO PLAY, HELP — The ninth-annual “Together We Care” Soccer Cancer Benefit will involve boys and girls teams from Catholic Central, Edison, Indian Creek and Steubenville high schools on Oct. 2 at Harding Stadium to raise money for the Cancer Dietary Initiative. The gates open at 9 a.m., and the first game starts at 10 a.m. The event includes special drawings, a Chinese auction and a vacation getaway. Players pose on the field in a cancer ribbon lineup to show support. -- Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — Although soccer players from four local high schools compete against each other on the field, they’re looking to score big in a united effort next weekend to help area cancer patients in need.

The ninth-annual “Together We Care” Soccer Cancer Benefit will include eight teams with one goal on Oct. 2 at Harding Stadium — to raise money for the Cancer Dietary Initiative.

Gates open at 9 a.m. for the benefit that involves teams from Catholic Central, Edison, Indian Creek and Steubenville high schools, according to Gloria Llewellyn, who is chairing the Together We Care fundraising committee.

Admission to enter the stadium is $7 for adults and $5 for students. For those who wear their favorite JKYSC soccer jersey, admission is free.

There will be tables outside of the stadium, however, right at the entrance with opportunities to purchase tickets for drawings, a Chinese auction, and a vacation getaway.

The game schedule is:

– 10 a.m., Indian Creek vs. Edison boys;

– Noon, Indian Creek vs. Edison girls;

– 2 p.m., Big Red vs. Central boys; and

– 4 p.m., Big Red vs. Central girls.

“On Oct. 2, the boys and girls’ soccer teams from Catholic Central, Edison, Indian Creek and Steubenville Big Red will come together to play four games at Harding Stadium, and although the teams are fierce competitors on the field, the players will put rivalries aside to come together to raise money for people with cancer facing financial hardships,” Llewellyn explained.

All proceeds from the “Together We Care” event will be donated to the Cancer Dietary Initiative, which provides nutritional support to people undergoing cancer treatment. CDI is located at First Westminster Presbyterian Church at 235 N. Fourth St., Steubenville.

“Every month food is distributed to more than 100 patients in our local area,” Llewellyn noted.

The food outreach began when medical oncologist Dr. M Pervaiz Rahman at the Tony Teramana Cancer Center in Steubenville noticed an ongoing issue with patients losing weight and seeming more malnourished than he expected with their cancer.

He started asking questions and was shocked at the responses, Llewellyn noted in offering information on the CDI’s history.

Although hesitant, the patients admitted that they were choosing between eating and paying household bills or paying medical bills. The added costs associated with their diagnosis cause people who are normally independent to no longer be able to stay above water.

Rahman was inspired by a food collection project his son Haris was involved in at school, and together they decided to attempt a six-month pilot food pantry program to meet these unfulfilled needs of his patients.

Recruiting assistance from volunteers, he started the program modestly with 18 patients in 2013. Now its helps as many as 115 patients.

The CDI functions solely on the generosity of donations, fundraisers and grants from local individuals, businesses, volunteers and communities.

Big Red was hosting its own soccer cancer benefit and in 2013, Indian Creek Coach Jonathan Hoover talked about having a larger soccer tournament to support local people with cancer and wanting to get the local schools on board.

Hoover talked with Big Red’s soccer coach, and they in turn approached soccer parents Melanie DiCarlo of Big Red, Mitzi Probert of Indian Creek, Amanda Harris of Edison and Suzanne Bodo of Catholic Central about the fundraising event, and the soccer cancer event was launched.

During the last eight years, the Together We Care event has raised more than $155,000 to help local cancer patients with areas businesses and community members playing a vital role in the event’s success.

All prizes and sponsorships have been donated to support the event, according to Llewellyn.

“There will be multiple giveaways, including a 31-day prize calendar lottery; a vacation getaway to Sanibel Island, Fla.; a Chinese auction; school spirit basket raffles and much more,” she added.

A group of parent volunteers form the fundraising committee to host this event annually. For updates, visit the Facebook page at Together We Care.

Tickets are $20 for an opportunity to win the vacation getaway to Sanibel Island, Fla., which includes seven-night accommodations and $500 in Southwest gift cards. The trip is valued at more than $3,000 for a Saturday-to-Saturday stay. The drawing will be conducted on Oct. 2 at the soccer benefit.

Tickets for the 31-day prize calendar lottery are $20 for one ticket providing 31 chances and $50 for three tickets for 93 chances. Among the varied prizes are a wine gift basket; several “dine-around” opportunities at various eateries; a $100 gift card to Something Special by Sheila; several opportunities for $100 cash; $50 gift card, Exquisite Creations by Joel; car wash and detail at Steve’s Auto Detailing; two Pittsburgh Steelers tickets; gift card; a fitness basket; a senior portrait session package for 2022-23 by Ryan Nolan Photography; a Seven Springs package for two; $100 in lottery scratch-off tickets; and an Ohio State gift basket.

All the 31 prizes will be drawn at the conclusion of the last game. Winners need not be present to claim their prize.

Checks can be made payable to the CDI to purchase tickets and/or for outright donations.

Senior players in “Together We Care” are:

Indian Creek boys: Mitch Williams, Aiden Minch-Hick, Sam Maiorano, Nate Martin, Jacob Ferguson, Tyler Sipes and Reese Spencer.

Indian Creek girls: Tae Childress and Samm Ratkovec.

– Edison boys: Mark Gescheider, Nathan Lucas, Eli Wilson, Christopher Willison, Gavin Barnhouse, Colby Hill, Zane Cunningham, Drake Leasure, Dylan Leasure, Lucas Mundz, Parker Scaffidi and Sam Peeraprasompong.

– Edison girls: Laine Murphy, Emily Moore, Chole Bond, Morgan Lesnansky and Delaney Johnson.

– Catholic Central girls, Beth Beigel, Rebecca Bolster, Lindsey Decker, Miryam Gonzalez, Hannah Hough, Miryam Newton, Anna Schlich and Bella Zinno.

– Catholic Central boys: Joseph Daniel, George Harris, David Kissinger, Matthew Mitch and Steven Zhang.

– Big Red boys: Anthony Shevlin, Theo Loot, J.J. Burchfield, Josh Zeiler, Caleb Noble and John Sidoriak.

– Big Red girls: Libby Saccoccia, Rylee Hubbard, Mara Milliken, Anastasia Crisante, Chloe Petrelle, Leah Taglione, Elexis Martin and Isabella Phillips.

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