| Sep 03, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - September 3, 2009 Sydenham High Tackles CancerBy Jeff Green

The start of the school year brings back memories of years gone by for Karl Hammer. Karl went to Sydenham High School (SHS) in the early ’90s, and played football for the Golden Eagles back then.

After going on to university and starting a family, Karl has been back at SHS for a few years, teaching the School to Community class.

During his football playing days, two of the Golden Eagles’ top running backs were Mike Woodcox and Andy Green. Karl remembers them both as “quiet, good-humoured guys who really shone on the field.”

It’s a sad coincidence that both Mike Woodcox and Andy Green succumbed to cancer while they were in their 20s, Mike from testicular cancer and Andy from brain cancer.

Thinking about this, and about the “Kimmy fund” fundraising event held each year to honour another SHS grad Kim Taylor, Karl got the idea of tapping into the “football brotherhood” to raise money in Mike and Andy’s name. “I was originally thinking about some sort of football reunion,” Hammer said.

One thing led to another, and since Karl plays in both ”Bauder Road” and “Little Betty” the idea of a fundraising dance with a football connection has come together.

So, to coincide with the season’s opening football games for both the Jr. and Sr. Sydenham Golden Eagle teams, a dance will be held on Friday September 18 from 8:00pm to 1:00 am at the Sydenham High School gymnasium to raise money for the Mike and Andy fund.

“Sydenham Tackles Cancer” will be a licensed event (18 & over) and will feature a silent auction in addition to the dance. The auction will include a soccer ball that has been signed by all the members of the Toronto FC soccer squad, and hopefully some items from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tickets will be $15 per person, and will be available at the door.

Other SH football alumni, including Mike Rennie, have been working with Karl Hammer on the event.

“I received a call from Karl about a month ago,” said Cindy Woodcox, Mike's mother, “telling me who he was and that he played football with Mike. Then he told me what he was planning to do and I thought it was a great idea. Mike’s been gone 10 years now, and I think it's wonderful that we can do something now, and the money can be used locally.”

Cindy Woodcox said she would be meeting with the Kingston Hospital Foundation to work out the details. The Woodcoxes will direct half of the money that is raised and the Greens the other half, and all of the money will be spent on local cancer treatment.

For those who are unable to attend the dance but would like to make a donation in honour of Mike and Andy, look to the News next week for details. 

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