From left: Stephen Zubrod, First National Bank; Ken and Ann Bird, Event Chairs and Dave and Korey Karnes, Honorary Chairs
OMAHA, Neb. – The rains from Friday evening and Saturday morning did not dampen spirits at this year’s Kicks for a Cure. For 2009 an event record $152,000 was raised for cancer research efforts. The fourth annual event, a benefit for the Liz’s Legacy cancer fund, was hosted by Creighton University on April 17th and 18th. The primary purpose of the annual event is to raise awareness for women’s cancer education and prevention featuring local high school and collegiate women’s soccer teams. Proceeds benefit research at Creighton University Hereditary Cancer Center and UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. The weekend kicked off with a soccer skills clinic for underprivileged youth held Friday afternoon at Creighton’s Morrison Stadium. The clinic was conducted by Creighton and UNO Women’s team members for 150 boys and girls ages 8 – 14. Creighton also hosted this year’s banquet on Friday evening held at the sparkling new Mike and Josie Harper Center. The event was attended by approximately 350 people who enjoyed a unique experience where attendees interacted with participating players in a family-oriented environment. The evening included the presentation of the Liz Karnes Memorial Scholarship Award. The award was presented to sophomore Annemarie Hengel by Bruce Erickson, Creighton Women’s Soccer Head Coach. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of this year’s check for $152,000 by presenting partner First National Bank. It was also announced that 2009 proceeds brought the four-year total of the event to $556,000. Four matches took place on Saturday at Morrison Stadium, featuring Creighton playing Iowa State in the headline match of the day. The Cyclones topped the Bluejays on their home turf 2 – 0. In other matches, two Class A state playoff contenders squared off as Lincoln Southwest High School defeated Millard West High School, 3 – 1. In collegiate play, Kansas defeated South Dakota 5 – 0 and Nebraska-Omaha outlasted the Bulldogs of Truman State, 2 – 0. Kicks for a Cure, a benefit for Liz’s Legacy, was envisioned by Dave Karnes and Steve and Amy Lindsay with the inaugural event held in 2006. Funds are raised through sponsorships, in-kind donations, and sale of banquet and game tickets to the general public. Grants from funds raised are awarded each year by Kicks for a Cure to support cancer research initiatives at Creighton University Hereditary Cancer Center and UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. The research targets cancers affecting women, but is more global in its impact. A $5,000 grant was awarded in 2008 to Creighton Women’s Soccer supporting the Liz Karnes Memorial Scholarship, honoring the late Liz Karnes who lost her battle with cancer in 2003. Another $5,000 grant will be awarded from the proceeds of the 2009 event, with the intent of building an endowment at Creighton to insure the permanence of the annual scholarship. Kicks for a Cure, Inc. is a Nebraska not-for-profit corporation and holds an IRS exemption as a 501(c)(3) organization.