Photo Credit: L. Wolff Photography
Did you know that daily an average of 13 children are diagnosed with a brain or central nervous system tumor? Or that brain tumors take the lives of more children in the United States than any other disease?
Vs. Cancer, a signature fundraising campaign for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, gives sports teams, athletes and communities the platform to help children with brain tumors and other forms of pediatric cancer. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is the world's leading nonprofit dedicated to the childhood brain tumor community, and for many participating teams in Charlotte, the proceeds from their Vs. Cancer campaign help fund child life programs at Levine Children’s Hospital and lifesaving pediatric brain tumor research.
Funding for pediatric brain tumor research is vital as there are more than 100 different types of pediatric brain tumors in need of a cure, with only 4% of federal cancer research funding currently dedicated to childhood cancers and even less to pediatric brain tumors.
Vs. Cancer was founded by a UNC Chapel Hill graduate, former collegiate baseball player and childhood cancer survivor. At the core of all of the work they do is the understanding of what the children and families they help are going through.
On June 27th, Great Clips partnered with the Charlotte Knights to help battle childhood cancer with the Vs. Cancer game at BB&T Ballpark. On the field, it was the Charlotte Knights vs. the Gwinnett Stripers, but off the field it was everyone Vs. Cancer.
The game was dedicated to the cause, honoring cancer survivors and care givers, as well as special families who have been directly impacted by a pediatric brain tumor diagnosis. Fans had the opportunity to get their hair cut on the concourse by a Great Clips stylist for a donation of their choice to Vs. Cancer. The Charlotte Knights players and staff were able to get in on the GOOD, too, by shaving their heads in support of the cause.
For seven weeks leading up to the big game, Great Clips offered discount coupons to customers who donated to Vs. Cancer in local salons and even gave one lucky customer the opportunity to be a Knight for the day- warming up with the players on the field before the first pitch.
The Great Clips and Charlotte Knights partnership for the Vs. Cancer game raised $15,561 in total. Mid-game, Jim Bullard, a local Great Clips franchisee, and Dan Rajkowski, COO for the Charlotte Knights, presented a check on-field to Rachel Mark, Vs. Cancer Campaign Director. Even though the game is in the books, additional donations can still be made to this amazing cause, here!
Vs. Cancer has also seen success in spreading awareness and fundraising during #GivingTuesdayCLT and is already getting excited to participate this coming December 3rd. “Each year Vs. Cancer looks forward to #GivingTuesdayCLT. What’s better than watching the Charlotte community come together with a giving spirit and uplift their favorite nonprofit? We are grateful to have community members who support us during Giving Tuesday, and throughout the year” says Rachel Mark. But don’t wait until next #GivingTuesdayCLT to spread awareness and give back to this important cause. With 28,000 U.S. children/teens living with a brain tumor and it’s lifelong side effects, every bit helps. SHARE this article with friends and family and help spread awareness about how together, we can beat pediatric brain tumors.