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Soccer Kids To Kick Cancer In Plainview

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in recent years the Long Island Junior Soccer League clubs and teams have used this time to raise funds, raise awareness and bring and bring their communities together through their efforts off the field.

One such example this season is the efforts of the GU14 Elwood Thunder and the GU10 Elwood Mustangs. Both teams actually raised funds for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer a year ago. This year they are taking their efforts to another level. In addition to a recent bake sale that raised over $350, the Thunder are looking forward to taking part in the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview later this month.

“We are so excited that Estee Lauder is sponsoring the event at the soccer park,” said Anthony Gatto, who coaches both teams. “We plan on donating all the proceeds from the bake sale to their foundation.”

Unfortunately, Elwood, like so many communities on Long Island, has been touched by cancer. Gatto says his teams’ efforts are a way for the girls to build a sense of community and educate themselves about the deadly disease.

“Breast Cancer and cancer in general has touched many of our lives in various ways,” Gatto said. “We have several students and parents in our school district with different forms of cancer - breast, bone, liver, lung and brain cancer. Many of them are survivors, but we have had our share of tragedy as well. Elwood does a tremendous job with “Relay for Life”, but this gives our young ladies a chance to concentrate on raising funds and being educated about breast cancer specifically.”

At the Soccer Park on the Oct. 20, the Thunder will remember those affected in a very special way.

“As a team, we are doing this as a way to pay tribute to all of our friends, family and community members who may have been, or will be affected by breast cancer,” Gatto said. “The girls on the Thunder are bringing a pink sharpie to our game on the 20th. We plan on writing the names of any of our loved ones affected by this terrible disease on the game ball. This will give the players a chance to pay tribute to their loved ones and do their part to kick cancer.