Local soccer club raises $900 for breast cancer research

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published November 19, 2014

 Members of the Michigan Legacy FC soccer club sport pink uniforms in October for breast cancer awareness. The club donated $900 to the Karmanos Cancer Institute for research.

Members of the Michigan Legacy FC soccer club sport pink uniforms in October for breast cancer awareness. The club donated $900 to the Karmanos Cancer Institute for research.

Photo courtesy of Todd Butkowski

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MACOMB COUNTY — A travel soccer club in Macomb County is doing its best to help kick cancer to the curb.

With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States, the Michigan Legacy FC soccer club decided to commence its own charitable efforts.

After identifying different ways of making a difference in the community, the club’s players and officials agreed to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research.

In turn, the club made its own pink T-shirt, selling each for $15, along with an extra $3 per shirt going toward the effort.

Many shirts were sold to parents of players on the club, with numerous parents wearing their pink shirts as jerseys throughout the month of October.

The club raised around $890, with all proceeds going to the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

“It’s the first time the club has ever done anything like that,” said Steve Chaffin, the director of operations for the club. “(Our goal is to) try to find a charity every year, and this year it just so happened to be breast cancer. (The profit were) 100 percent back, and everyone was on board with it.”

Michigan Legacy FC is a co-ed travel soccer team that ranges in the 8-to-18 age group. The club, which is part of several leagues, has been around for about eight years and plays in different areas around the county.

Chaffin was happy with the success of the fundraising effort, saying that 2014 should spark a trend that will exist within the club for years to come.

“The whole undertaking was mine and something I decided to do and run with,” he said. “Next year will be a different charity, like the Make-A-Wish Foundation or Wounded Warriors.

“It’s just to give back to the community and give support to people who can’t do it on their own.”

Christina Venditti is the third party events coordinator for Karmanos in Detroit. She said Michigan Legacy FC, like many others who want to raise awareness for cancer, took the initiative and wanted to donate toward the Friends Raising Funds program — which gives individuals, organizations and businesses the creative opportunity to donate on their own terms.

“They came to us in September or August and they said, ‘We want to raise money for breast cancer; how do we do it?’” Venditti said.

She said groups or organizations can define what they want their funds to go toward, be it research or services or just generalized cancer projects. The amount of fundraising that takes place fluctuates year by year, with donations going to different facets of the institute (such as those toward pancreatic cancer, for example).

There were 152 third-party fundraisers this year. That includes promotions that businesses conduct, such as when a bar or restaurant has a special pink T-shirt night in which 10 percent of sales go toward Karmanos. The myriad of fundraising participants is across the board, from high school and college athletic teams to professional teams.

“We do all of our research locally in Detroit,” Venditti said. “It depends when the money comes in and what there’s a need for. (Fundraising from third parties is) incredibly important; that’s how we do most of the research.”

On Dec. 3, the soccer club will present a check to Karmanos during a banquet at The Vintage House in Fraser. Chaffin described it as a good way of getting the club back together, all for a good cause.

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