100% Goes To Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego
What happens when great people are inspired? Magnificence. A very special group of hard working and busy women set time aside to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer and they have made a real impact.
The second annual Kickin ’ It Challenge, a two day competitive youth soccer tournament held on June 22nd & 23rd celebrates life and the fight against breast cancer as nearly 100 teams come together to compete. Players U8 to U18 Boys and Girls are invited to compete.
Arsenal San Diego, FC Heat, Hotspurs, Encinitas Express, Oceanside Breakers, Surf, Poway Vaqueros, Blast, Temecula United, San Marcos Revolution, Scripps and Barstow Heat are among the clubs competing in this year’s youth soccer tournament.
This summer, and in all the future summers, our youth players deserve to take a moment out to appreciate life and help others and compete in a charity tournament.
It is important that the passion for the beautiful game is shared by the chance to give back – something few youth players have the opportunity to do. It is a wonderful experience to know that the love of soccer can actually help raise money for a very important and worthwhile cause – and a cause here at home. We all know women – mothers – who battle breast cancer. Here is our chance to make a small difference on the road to a cure. Register a team or donate an auction item or simply donate.
Mike Connerley, the well known man behind one of the highest rated youth soccer tournaments in America, the Surf Cup, has pledged $2,500 from the Surf Cup Foundation. Connerely heard Tournament Director Pam Bickel on KSON’s Better Living segment Sunday morning with host Gary Lee and was inspired to reach out to help.
Tiffany Quackenbush is a local San Diego resident who grew up playing soccer and now is the PYSL Blast BU9 youth soccer coach. Quackenbush is also a proud mom and a woman battling breast cancer. She was diagnosed last year and is in active treatment. Quackenbush is working with the Kickin’ It Challenge and helping Bickel raise awareness of breast cancer.
One hundred percent of proceeds are donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego to provide free diagnostic mammograms, surgeries, meal delivery, childcare and temporary financial aid to local women.
How did Bickel and these other women start making a difference?
According to Bickel, the Kickin’ It Challenge tournament is the result of realizating yet another mom in our soccer club had breast cancer and her need to do ‘something’.
“I never dreamed it would become so much of a ‘something’. I have become friends with several incredible women who give so much of themselves to make this event truly special,” said Bickel in an interview this week.
“My first thoughts were initially focused on raising money but the tournament has become more, now it is about raising awareness, it’s about our kids giving back to their community, it’s about educating our kids and our community about breast cancer, it’s about making a difference in the lives of those living with a breast cancer diagnosis.”
“I have met some very special people through this tournament and I have seen first hand the power of working together with like minds; all focused on making a difference.”
Beatrice Cubitt is one of those special women who works tirelessly to help the tournament be an organized success. Cubitt has the thankless job of the scheduling as well as the tournament website and social media. Click here to LIKE their Facebook page.
“I consider myself fortunate to be working with this special team; Pam Bickle, Susan Filippone and BJ Kelly are amazing to work with. Poway Vaqueros coach Christine Drummond is the amazing graphic artist/designer for the tournament.
Susan Filippone is responsible for Team Sales at soccerloco and works continuously on raising donations for the Tournament as well as being a fabulous spokesperson for the event. Always modest and philanthropic, Filippone says she is “Just one of five women sharing the work it takes to put on a tournament.”
BJ Kelly is a board member of Presidio Soccer League and has contributed to the San Diego youth soccer world for many years. With significant youth soccer tournament experience, Kelly has given important leadership to Kickin’ It Challenge.
Breast cancer is a disease that touches so many people. Everybody knows somebody who has been affected by breast cancer.
“I have met some amazingly strong women, women who never give up, women who no matter how bad they feel, get up everyday and take their kids to soccer practice, to dance or to school, and push through the tough days focused on the brighter days ahead and I want to help make sure they get those brighter days. That’s why this tournament has been so almost life changing,” says Bickel.
Last year the tournament raised over $20,000 and surprised (as well as thrilled) the Susan G. Komen foundation. This year the team of women behind the tournament want to raise more.
“adidas has been fantastic,” says Bickel, “they have donated a pink ball for every team, 100% of the tournament t-shirts and the tournament tent. Kickin’ It Challenge is working with John Lococo, CEO of soccerloco who is a Founding Partner and has generously donated all the printing and all the field lining in PINK paint, of course.” Bickel approached Lococo in the beginning and he thought this breast cancer fundraiser/soccer event was a great idea and has helped with donations, contacts and advice.
Auction items include tickets from Disneyland, Legoland, Birch Aquarium and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Rachel Buehler has donated a signed Women’s National team jersey – signed by the team, SD Sockers have provided a ball and these are just a few of the items available at the auction. But the Kickin’ It Challenge is still accepting donations – so please, if you or your company has the ability to donate an item for the auction, please let them know – just click here and email Bickel.
Cubbitt’s favorite quote she attributes to Katherine Hepburn “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” and it inspires the question “What are your hands doing to help fight breast cancer?”
Kickin’ It Challenge is something wonderful for the whole family. Bring your soccer team, or if that is not possible, why not put a team together and come out for the day? Last year Ryan Park was awash with shades of pink and happy people of all ages . This is a soccer tournament where participating is even more important than winning. It is through participation we all win, especially in the bigger picture. Get invovled. Come out.
The tournament will be held on June 22 and 23 at Frances Ryan Park, located at 450 Hidden Trail Rd., Escondido, CA 92027