Much of Mount Pleasant Wildcats Spirit Day is continuous youth soccer games played by different age groups with opponents from nearby communities. This year Spirit Day raised $60,000 for the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation.
Last Sunday morning was a perfect football day. The air was cool and crisp, and the stands were packed with parents, friends and community members arriving at Westlake High School for the seventh Mount Pleasant Wildcats Spirit Day.
But last weekend’s real winner wasn’t one of three teams in different age groups from the Mount Pleasant Wildcats Football Club and Cheer program or their opponents from Valhalla, Armonk or Scarsdale. It was the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, a non-profit organization founded nearly a decade ago to raise money for innovative research aimed at finding treatments and cures for the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer.
The foundation is named after Ty Campbell, who died of a brain tumor in October 2012 when he was five years old. His parents created the organization so that one day no other parents would have to go through the grief they experienced when they lost a child to cancer.
“We really trust this event,” said his mother, Cindy Campbell, whose foundation has raised nearly $2 million since its inception. “We’re counting on it.”
Most importantly, progress is being made in clinical trials of potential treatments and technologies that weren’t there when Ty was fighting for his life, giving families more hope that their children can recover, Campbell said.
This year’s Spirit Day had the most successful renewal this year, raising $60,000 from donations and sales during the event, easily surpassing the $42,000 brought in from the day in 2019, event organizer Lori Ferrara said.
She said the pent-up energy and excitement of not being able to hold the event last year, along with the perfect weather, prompted community members to spend the day outside with family, friends and neighbors, boosting attendance. fueled. In the seven years that Spirit Day has been held, it has now raised approximately $165,000 for the foundation.
Ferrara said it wasn’t certain that the event could be held until about three weeks earlier this year, and the Mount Pleasant community quickly came through to host Spirit Day.
“In three weeks we’ve joined forces and it’s even bigger and better, so it’s a testament to a lot of people and volunteers because that’s what this day is really about,” she said. “It’s about community and teaching our kids to give back and fight for something bigger than them.”
After the first of three football games, Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi and Councilor Laurie Smalley Campbell presented a city proclamation praising her and the foundation, along with the Spirit Day volunteers who made the event an important day on the local calendar.
Campbell fought back tears as he described how much Spirit Day means to her and to children who will hopefully not only survive difficult childhood cancers, but grow and thrive.
“On a personal level, it’s very important to me to know how this community remembers my son and to know that the impact he made years ago is still remembered and honored in this beautiful way by so many people,” she said.