| Sep 24, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - September 24, 2009 Sydenham tackles cancer - and winsby Julie Druker

Friends and members of the Woodcox and Green families. Back row (l-r) - Don Meadus, Kelly Green, Cindy Woodcox, Stephanie Stewart, Matt Rennie. Front row (l-r) Karl Hammer and Rob Woodcox.

On Saturday night at the Sydenham High School it was very apparent how the rich culture of Sydenham football seems to create bonds that survive long after high school has ended.

This was evident in the turnout for the first-ever cancer fundraiser in honour of Mike Woodcox and Andy Green, two former Sydenham football players who played running back for the Sydenham Eagles in the late 80s and early 90s, and who both sadly succumbed to cancer when they were in their 20s.

Organized by Karl Hammer, a current teacher, former student and football player at SHS, with the help of friends and members of the Woodcox and Green families, the event was a tribute and also an uplifting way to raise money for a worthy cause.

Karl Hammer, who plays guitar in both bands that performed at the fundraiser on Sept. 18, paid tribute to his two former teammates. “The event is in Mike and Andy’s names and really it is about them, but also about every single one of us here tonight because it’s up to us to tackle cancer where they left off. They both did their best and tackled it hard and now it’s up to us to keep up the fight.”

Karl made a poignant analogy when he recalled the coaching advice of former coach Foster. “He always said, 'You never assume that your defensive guy is going to make the tackle; you always get in there and gang tackle until the guy is down.' That’s what it’s like with cancer. We all have to help.”

Money raised from the event will be put towards the construction of the new Cancer Centre at KGH, and with the support of the Kingston University Hospital Foundation, all funds raised will be matched nine to one.

The event attracted many friends and family members of the two former players, who had a chance to catch up and remember the two young men who had touched their own and many others’ lives.

Sydenham football alumni and former students also came in droves and greeted one another with secret handshakes, hearty backslaps, hugs, kisses and genuine camaraderie; and no doubt many tears were shed.

Cindy Woodcox, Mike’s mom, was on board with the event from the start. She was thrilled with the turnout and was involved with the fundraising end of the event. She’s grateful to see the funding being put towards the local KGH cancer centre. She recalled the difficulties she and her family experienced while Mike was being treated because of all of the traveling involved.

She explained, “I would really like to see enough money raised here for the Kingston Centre so that people don’t have to leave their community for treatment.”

The $15 ticket included a night of musical entertainment by local bands Bauder Road and Little Betty, a silent auction which included hockey tickets, signed soccer memorabilia and lulu lemon products, food, and a free shuttle bus service to Kingston provided by Watson Bus Lines at the end of the night.

Karl Hammer was pleased to announce that close to $4,000 was raised. This translates to close to $40,000 that will be donated to the construction of the new Cancer Centre at KGH. Now I call that a touchdown.

Anyone who missed the event but who would still like to donate, can contact Cindy Woodcox at 613-353-2882. 

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