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Hauppauge set to host sixth annual Kicks for Cancer

Hauppauge’s annual Kicks for Cancer fundraiser event, held in honor of Courtney Tomkin, will kick off tomorrow afternoon at Hauppauge High School.

“Our goal is to continue to bring awareness to the kids,” Hauppauge boys soccer coach Jamie Edson said.

“The soccer game is secondary to raising money for a good cause.”

This season marks the sixth annual occasion for Tomkin, a former Hauppauge student who passed away from brain cancer in 2008 at age 17.

The games begin starting with the boys at 4 p.m. and the girls right after at 6:30 p.m. against League IV opponent Bellport.

Expect to see lots of pink, whether it be on the field, on the Eagles’ uniforms, on their equipment, and even in their hair. The boys’ are expected to showcase their traditional Mohawks, while the girls will have their traditional streaks.

“We tagged along and try to help in any way we can,” Edson said. “The boys have jumped in with both feet. They just want to put a show on for everybody.”

Hauppauge girls soccer coach Jesseca Kulesa, who helped initiate the local festivities, said the event will continue to donate the proceeds from the Kicks for Cancer apparel and merchandise to five different foundations—the Making Headway Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Lung Association and to the Courtney Tomkin Scholarship fund.

“I think this is something that involves everybody who knows somebody who has been affected,” Kulesa said. “This is a concrete way for everybody to give back and help out.”

Last season, the event saw an estimated 1,500 people stop down to watch last season’s doubleheader. The event also helped raise $35,000 in its first year, with Kicks for Cancer raising more than $100,000 since its inception, according to Kulesa.

“One of the things I’m proud of is that we’ve gotten other schools involved,” said Kulesa, who noted the 15 teams from the first season to now 38 teams this season that host its own Kicks for Cancer event. “That’s one of the best ways we’re going to keep it going, to get as many schools involved.”

Each school is committed to raising $500 this season, Kulesa said.