Greetings South Christian Community!!
As most of you are aware, South Christian High School will be joining forces with the VanAndel Institute in the fight against cancer. The SC Sailor Varsity Football Team will be hosting the TK Middleville Trojans for a Purple Community Event on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 PM (we will be the home team but playing on Grandville’s field). This is one of the first times we’ve seen BOTH schools participating in such an event!!
Our goal is two-fold for the Purple Community Event: obviously to raise money for the VanAndel Institute but also to honor those we know that have been impacted by cancer personally. To begin the evening, BOTH the Sailors and the Trojans along with their cheerleaders will enter the field prior to the game with an “honoree” by their side (this “honoree” may be a person battling cancer directly, in remission, or a survivor to someone who has passed from the disease), names of the person impacted by cancer will be printed on the player’s special jerseys and included in a bulletin that evening.
It is important to point out that our football program has been truly impacted by this dreaded disease as of late. Evan Beukema (former 2014 State Champion football player, 2015 SC grad, and brother to current SC running back, Brennen) was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma over 6 months ago; we are thrilled and give praise to God to report that after several rounds of intense chemo and radiation, Evan is cancer free today!!! Another individual passionate about and heavily involved with the SC football program is Doug Bakker. Doug was diagnosed with Melanoma that had metastasized in 2012; he was given 2-3 months to live. Six years later, Doug is still working and attending SCHS football games. During this time, Doug received immunotherapy. He was just recently re-diagnosed and is one of three in the nation on a new experimental trial. Experimental drug trials like the one Doug is currently on would not be possible without institutions like the VanAndel Institute. Both Evan and Doug will be present and recognized during the Purple Community Event.
In addition, we will spend halftime festivities honoring a man that has played a large role in many students, parents, players, teachers, and community lives: Mr. Bob Blacquiere. Bob served as a respected teacher throughout the community for 37 years, beginning his career at Moline Christian, spending a few years at Byron Christian and the majority of his teaching at South Christian, retiring in 2013. He also is recognized as a distinguished football coach for SC, serving as Head Coach of the Sailors from 1982 – 2008, AND still assisting whenever he can. Regrettably, Bob was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (a cancerous brain tumor) in November, 2016 and along with conventional treatment, has received/benefited from immunotherapy through the University of Michigan. In addition, Bob, his family, and his medical team continue to research new treatment options made available through valuable institutions like the VanAndel Institute. For this reason, we have chosen this particular event to celebrate and honor Bob and his journey.
If you know Bob, Evan, or Doug, or have a family member, know a neighbor, co-worker, former SC Sailor football player that knows one of these gentlemen, please pass this information on and plan to attend the game on October 13. We are striving for a packed stadium, full of purple, supporting those we love and letting Bob, Evan, and Doug know that we are behind them 100%!!
There are many ways to get involved and support this event. In addition to attending the game, please click on this link and preorder every person you know a “South Christian / TK Tackling Cancer” official PURLE COMMUNITY EVENT t-shirt: http://give.vai.org/site/Calendar?id=100481&view=Detail
***Yes, we will be selling the t-shirts at SC (during certain lunch hours) and at the event itself, but we suggest that you take advantage of the preorder link to ensure that you get the size and quantity you desire.
We are very excited to share that due to generous sponsorships, we will be able to give 100% of t-shirt sale proceeds to the VanAndel Institute. If you would like to sponsor the t-shirts (taxable donation minimum $1,000) for the Purple Community Event, and have your company/organization’s/personal name featured on the back of the shirts, please contact Mary Woltjer by September 15, 2017. For those of you feeling specifically passionate about this cause or being lead to make a monetary donation (of ANY amount) to the VanAndel Institute as a part of the South Christian Purple Community Event, please contact Mary Woltjer at 616-460-4298 or Michelle Beukema at 616-292-0560 for details.
Finally, PLEASE make sure that you read the SC parent email communications and football announcements for other great ways to contribute to this incredible cause; look for information regarding feeder schools participating in coin drives, SC bake sales, t-shirt sale dates, the balloon release prior to the Purple Community Event game, and other critical details about the Purple Community Event unfolding.
Thank you, and remember that we need you all to participate in some capacity to ensure this event is successful!!
With Appreciation, The Purple Community Event Committee