First envisioned in 2004 by Dave Karnes and Steve and Amy Lindsay, Kicks for a Cure was launched in April 2006. Our theme is Two Teams, One Goal…Beating Cancer. The primary purpose of the weekend is to raise awareness and funding for cancer education and prevention, but also to showcase Omaha as a compassionate, vibrant community where student-athletes and community leaders alike contribute to the cause. Since that first year, more than $2 million has been raised benefiting local cancer research.
Funds are raised through sponsorships, donations, and sale of banquet tickets. Grants from funds raised are awarded each year by Kicks for a Cure, Inc., to support cancer research initiatives at two local, world-renowned facilities, Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and the Hereditary Cancer Center at Creighton. Grants are made primarily to focus on genetic cancer research. Additionally, the Liz Karnes Memorial Scholarship for Creighton Women’s Soccer has been awarded since 2008 and is now an endowed scholarship.
Teams participating in Kicks for a Cure have included Division I soccer teams UNO, Nebraska, Marquette, Notre Dame, Yale, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa State, Virginia, Saint Louis, Denver, Drake and host Creighton, as well as Division II teams Rockhurst, South Dakota and Truman State. Local girls’ high school teams have also participated including Westside, Marian, Millard North, Millard West, Millard South, Lincoln Southwest, Elkhorn, Gretna, Skutt, Duchesne and Burke. Since 2012, local boys’ high school teams have participated and include Creighton Prep, Westside, Bellevue East, Elkhorn, Grand Island and Lincoln Lutheran.
Each team plays one game Saturday at Creighton University’s Morrison Stadium or University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Caniglia Field. Other activities include a soccer skills clinic for underprivileged youth conducted by participating teams, and autograph sessions following collegiate games. A Kick-OFF Party on Friday night starts off the weekend in a casual, fun, and festive atmosphere.
THANKS TO ALL PARTICIPATING TEAMS AND SPONSORS FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND BECOMING PART OF THE KICKS FOR A CURE FAMILY
FRIENDS OF KICKS FOR A CURE GROUP
KICKS FOR A CURE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Teri Mercer, President
Kate Betsworth, Vice President
Melissa Regan, Executive Director
Kevin Quinn, Treasurer
Natalie Simmonds, Secretary
Kara Karnes Mason
Kalen Karnes Strickland
Kate Parker, Friends Board President