YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- The 4th Annual "Tackles for a Cure" football game at Lakeland High School experienced a great turnout and raised more than $14,000 to support breast cancer research, bringing the total to $31,000 raised in four years.
What began as a small effort among the cheerleaders and football players now has blossomed into a combined effort by Lakeland High School and Shrub Oak Athletic Club. Aimed at promoting awareness and research for breast cancer, the football team wore pink jerseys donated by local businesses. The stands were filled with students, staff and community members wearing some of the 1,600 black and pink T-shirts sold as the main fundraiser.
Various Lakeland businesses and families sponsored the shirts this year. The N.Y. Giants and N.Y. Jets football teams also donated items.
LHS cheerleaders sold baked goods at the game. LHS football players sold rally towels along with holding a fundraiser at A&S, Jefferson Valley. Members of the Shrub Oak Athletic Club football program were introduced at halftime while the Lakeland and SOAC cheer squads performed together as well. Community members also donated many items. "Every penny we make is donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation," said Beth O'Neill, one of the event's organizers. "Tackles for a Cure was an idea I had after I recovered from my breast cancer surgery and treatment," O'Neill said. "My son, Connor, was playing on varsity football so I contacted Rob Cappelli to see if we could start a game and he is now one of our biggest supporters," she said. The first year began with O'Neill and her best friend, Lisa Souza, selling T-shirts to just LHS football players and cheerleaders.
"We made $2,000 and had requests for more shirts. The second year SOAC cheerleaders and football joined us and it became a combined effort," Souza said.
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