Kentwood soccer’s Annual Kicks for the Cure game raises over $3,500

This was the fifth year Kentwood’s girls soccer team has played the Kicks game, a match against Kentlake initially and now another league rival, Kentridge. The two teams played to a 0-0 draw Oct. 19.

Just a few weeks before girls soccer season in 2009 Tara Radford knew she wanted to do something after her family was impacted by breast cancer.

That is how Kicks for the Cure — an annual fundraiser for MultiCare Covington’s Women Get It program — began as Radford dealt with her mother and grandmother’s battles with the disease. Both eventually succumbed to breast cancer.

This was the fifth year Kentwood’s girls soccer team has played the Kicks game, a match against Kentlake initially and now another league rival, Kentridge. The two teams played to a 0-0 draw Oct. 19.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been five years,” Radford said. “This was an idea three weeks before practice started five years ago. Now we’ve raised all this money and helped hundreds of women.”

She is married to Aaron Radford, the longtime soccer coach at Kentwood. This year the team raised $3,600 for the Women Get It program, which provides breast cancer screening services for patients who may not be able afford it otherwise.

This year the team hosted a car wash in late September in the pouring rain. It rained so hard, in fact, Radford said, the girls didn’t even have to rinse off the cars. Additionally, they sold T-shirts and took donations. Since the event began, Radford said, nearly $21,000 has been raised for the program.

This laid a foundation for a burgeoning partnership with MultiCare, Radford said, which means the Kicks for the Cure game will be recognized by the health care provider as an official fundraiser and MultiCare will provide someone to help out.

“Hopefully we’ll have a website (next year) where people can donate online,” Radford said. “Next year we’ll go bigger and better.”

When breast cancer impacts your life, Tara Radford said, you want to do something about it.

“It came out of something bad and I’m choosing to make it something positive,” she said.