Every time a member of the BC Champions scored a goal this season, the lacrosse team raised another $82 for the fight against breast cancer. The 10- and 11-year-old players from Long Island’s North Shore scored 55 goals in all — and one parent donated an extra $1,000 — bringing the total contribution to $5,500.
The fifth- and sixth-grade boys donated the money to the Kat’s Ribbon of Hope breast cancer advocacy foundation, a newly formed charity that helps women from Long Island and Queens who don’t have the means to adequately fight the disease.
“What they did is amazing,” says charity co-founder Despina Yarian of Old Brookville. The boys asked family and friends to pledge a dollar amount for every goal the team scored this fall. They donned jerseys with a pink ribbon as the team logo and added pink socks to their uniform. They chose the name BC Champions — BC standing for Breast Cancer, of course — and enrolled in a Nassau County fall lacrosse league.
Two boys on the team spearheaded the idea. “Me and my friend Johnny [Maccarone] were talking about how we could play for more than just a win,” says George Panagopoulos, 11. Johnny’s grandmother died of breast cancer, so that was the cause the team selected.
Whenever the team huddled, instead of yelling the team name when the huddle broke, they would yell, “We care!”
Leslie Kravet of Flower Hill, a friend of the Panagopoulos family, pledged $3 a goal. Says Kravet: "I liked the idea that at a young age children would learn they could get involved and do something for a cause that was bigger than they were."