Kick-It For Cancer was founded in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, by 10-year-old Quinn Clarke during his second battle against cancer. Clarke wanted to have a kickball game to raise money for pediatric cancer research. More than 500 people participated in his kickball games. Kick-It soon became a global organization spanning from Hawaii to Australia and more.
Kick-it is now partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to solely focus on finding cures for pediatric cancer.
In 2016, Caitlyn Compres (‘20) extended the Kick-It fundraiser to Gilmour Academy. Compres was inspired by her neighbor who works for the Kick-It organization in Chagrin Falls.
Compres said, “My motivation of organizing Kick-It at Gilmour comes from seeing each kid suffering from these terrible diseases. We all have so much. We are able to breathe, walk, play sports, eat on our own, and do so much more; but for some of these kids, what we take for granted are luxuries they can’t afford. So, I think that everyone should be able to give back. Anything and everything helps.”
In Compres’s first year at Gilmour, she organized the students to donate money during Spirit Week and organized for the entire school to play of kickball. In Compres’s sophomore year, her Gilmour Kick-It organization again collected donations. She also arranged a kickball game against Hawken High School.
This year, Compres and her team plan to have donations open all year and do mini fundraises throughout the year. After the fundraising, the entire school will play kickball games this spring.
Gilmour students are able to participate and strongly encouraged to donate. The main goal is to spread awareness about childhood cancer.
Pediatric cancer is extremely underfunded compared to adult cancer research. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer. This means around 300,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer each year. Additionally, one in five children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S will not survive.
With this year’s Kick-It fundraiser underway, Compres said, “I want people to know that these kids are fighting for their lives. I know we don’t know all of them personally or their stories, but most of these kids are just like us, and they are now fighting for their lives. It is easy and simple to donate. All donations go an extremely long way.”