Fort Mill Times

Dairy Barn to host annual Kickin’ It Challenge party

The Dairy barn in Fort Mill will be lit pink for the The Carolinas’ Kickin’ It Challenge kick off party Friday.
The Dairy barn in Fort Mill will be lit pink for the The Carolinas’ Kickin’ It Challenge kick off party Friday.

The second annual Carolinas’ Kickin’ It Challenge fundraiser and soccer tournament will take place Mother’s Day weekend, May 8-10.

Proceeds will be used to battle breast cancer.

The kick-off party and silent auction is Friday at the Anne Springs Close Greenway Dairy Barn. The tournament will be held at Manchester Meadows park in Rock Hill May 9-10. The events raised over $60,000 last year, which benefited breast cancer patient programs and research at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute and Susan G. Komen of Charlotte.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall. According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, more than 40,000 women will die this year from breast cancer. Shana Shivel of Fort Mill knew she wanted to do something to honor her mother, Debbie Whitener, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2008. Breast cancer is prevalent in Shivel’s extended family as well.

“I’ve been raised with this notion that this is something that is very serious,” Shivel said.

The birth of her daughter, Shivel said, “pushed me into overdrive,” to do something to fight back against the disease. Shivel began brainstorming ideas and came across a Kickin’ It Challenge in San Diego, the only other of its kind. Shivel said as a soccer mom herself, the idea appealed to her immediately.

Along with Shivel, Dr. Sarah Morris of Novant Health Carmel OB/GYN Associates is co-founder of the event. Shivel shared with Morris her desire to create an event honoring her mother, while the two watched their children play soccer. As an OB/GYN, Morris said she is already invested in women’s health and sees first-hand the devastation that breast cancer brings to her patients and their families. The tournament naturally appealed to the soccer moms, and “while the competition’s great,” Shivel said, they also wanted to include children in something bigger than the game itself.

“You have to teach them at a young age,” that helping others is important, Shivel said.

A majority of the money raised stays in York County, organizers say. Through the Levine Cancer Institute’s Rock Hill office, women in need are identified through a Patient Special Needs Fund. This fund helps breast cancer patients who are “really struggling to meet basic needs,” Shivel said, by providing gas and grocery gift cards, help with household bills and temporary housing assistance if needed. Funds are also being used to expand health screenings and a nutritionist program in York County.

Some of the funding for the Komen Charlotte Community Grant Programs will go toward diagnostic 3D mammography screenings for low-income patients and compression therapy as part of a lymphedema management program.

Morris and Shivel said it is important to them that every woman has access to quality medical care regardless of income.

“No woman should have to die because she’s poor,” Shivel said.

Last year, more than 300 people attended the kick-off party at the Dairy Barn. This year the event will be emceed by Matt Harris from 107.9 The Link and feature entertainment from Charlotte-based country rock act Early Ray. Admission is $75 per person, which includes dinner and drinks, entertainment and live and silent auction.

The big ticket prize to be auctioned off is a personally customized golf cart from Carolina Golf Cars. Other items include tickets to the sold out Taylor Swift concert in Charlotte, private soccer lessons with Major League Soccer players Alex and Enzo Martinez, a Memorial Day weekend at Hilton Head Island and a five-day trip to Antigua. Many local businesses have donated items and a full list can be found at kickinitchallengecarolinas.com.

Party-goers at the kick-off can expect the Dairy Barn to look a little different the night of the event – it will be lit up pink in support of the cause. “It gives you chills,” Morris said. “It takes your breath away.”

Want to go?

The Carolinas’ Kickin’ It Challenge kick-off party and auction is 7 p.m. Friday, May 8, at the Anne Springs Close Greenway Dairy Barn. Tickets are $75 for dinner, drinks, entertainment and live and silent auction.

Youth Soccer Tournament – May 9-10 Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill

For more information and to purchase tickets go to kickinitchallengecarolinas.com

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