Second “Goals for Grace” Soccer PK Registration Now Open


Sept 8th Event to Raise Funds for We Cancerve Movement’s Pediatric Patient Assistance Fund at Sinai Hospital

Registration is now open for the We Cancerve Movement’s second “Goals for Grace” penalty-kick shootout, which will be held during National Children’s Cancer Awareness Month. The event will raise money for We Cancerve’s pediatric assistance fund at Sinai Hospital. We Cancerve is an youth-led nonprofit organization based in Harford County, Md.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, September 8, 2019 at the Harford Sports Performance Center in Forest Hill, Md. The event recognizes the cancer journey of We Cancerve Founder Grace Callwood, who was diagnosed in 2011 with Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 7 and declared cured at age 14 in February 2019 by her team of oncologists at Sinai.

A penalty kick is essentially a single shot on the goal while it is defended only by a goalkeeper, usually from an opposing team. At the shootout, top scorers in three categories – elementary, middle and high school – will move on to shoot three penalty kicks against a seasoned goalie. The top scorer in each age group against the celebrity goalie will receive a grand prize. The event will conclude around noon with the top scorers from each group receiving a grand prize.

Phil Saunders, head coach at CCBC at Catonsville and the Director of Goalkeeping at Baltimore Union, is returning as the event’s celebrity goalie. Saunders, played professionally for two years in the Icelandic First Division for Bi/Bolungarvik in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, before returning home to play a season for the Baltimore Blast in the 2014/2015 season, currently trains goal keepers from most other youth clubs in Baltimore.

Before his pro career, Phil played for UMBC. Phil is tied for 2nd most shutouts in program history, having made the All Rookie Team in 2009, named team MVP in 2012, the All-America East Team in 2012 and 2013 named most outstanding player in the America East Tournament in 2012, and captained the 5th nationally ranked team in 2013.

Two-time Baltimore Blast Most Valuable Player William Vanzela is honorary chair of the year’s event.

Youth ages five to 17 can register online at We Cancerve’s website, and at the door on September 8. Registration is $10 for individuals and $100 for a group of 12 people. Onsite registration opens at 8:45 a.m. Even though the first competition for each category begins at 9 a.m., registration will remain open until 10 a.m. No soccer experience is required to participate.

Upon arrival, participants will be directed to one of 8 stations, where they will shoot their 10 penalty kicks on a high school goalie. If not in the running of the “top scorers”, participants will have plenty to do in the facility. This year, participants can also sign up for batting cages and enjoy $10 for 10 hits. Participants can also participate in a silent auction. All proceeds benefit the pediatric patient assistance fund.

A free continental breakfast is offered on a first come, first serve basis and can be enjoyed on the observation deck. For the safety of the players and the volunteers, all spectators, including participants who have concluded their kicks, are asked to watch the event from the observation deck and not the playing field.

The We Cancerve Pediatric Patient Assistance Fund at Sinai Hospital was created in 2016 with a $5,000 donation from Callwood, who was named a Peace First Fellow for her work with We Cancerve. Donations have slowly come in to the group’s GoFundMe page since but thanks to the 2018 Goals for Grace, the group raised $5,415 for the fund. This year, they hope to double that amount.

“The fund assists families of sick children with out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, transportation costs, homecare expenses, special food or equipment, parking fees, tolls, restaurant and grocery gift cards to help families and more,” explained Callwood.

Patients receiving help from this fund are seen at The Sinai Hospital Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, which is based in the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai. The 26-bed Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai is a state-of-the-art family-centered Children’s Hospital, which provides a broad spectrum of pediatric diagnostic, inpatient, post-surgical, intensive care, hematology and oncology, and outpatient services available to children, adolescents, and some young adults with pediatric diseases, from birth to age 26, including the vitally important accommodation for two parents to sleep in their child’s room. A large part of the Children’s Hospital is the newly renovated and constructed Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center, which began seeing patients in July 2010.

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