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Creighton and UNMC to Host Sixth Annual “Kicks for a Cure,” April 15-16

The sixth annual “Kicks for a Cure” soccer weekend to raise awareness and generate funds for research, education and prevention of women’s cancer will be held April 15-16, 2011. This year, a featured highlight will be a 7 p.m. match on Saturday, April 16, between Creighton University’s men’s soccer team and Saint Louis University.

That game will conclude a Saturday schedule of games that features a varsity high school match and two women’s collegiate matches – UNO vs. Hastings College and Creighton University vs. the University of Nebraska. All matches will be played at the Michael G. Morrison, S.J. Soccer Stadium at 18th and California streets on the Creighton University campus.

The Friday, April 15, schedule includes a free soccer skills clinic for youths from Boys/Girls Club of the Midlands; Girls, Inc.; Boys Town; All Our Kids and Campfire Kids, conducted by participating coaches and players.

An April 15 fundraising dinner focusing on cancer research conducted at Creighton University School of Medicine and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) will be held at the Mutual of Omaha Dome. There will be a social and silent auction beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7:15 p.m. and the Mutual of Omaha Dome. The cost is $100 (adults) and $75 (students).

Since “Kicks for a Cure” was started in 2006, it has generated nearly three quarters of a million dollars to support cancer research initiatives at Creighton University Hereditary Cancer Center and UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. Proceeds from the event are donated through “Liz’s Legacy,” a charitable fund set up in memory of the late Dr. Liz Karnes, an avid educator and activist as well as a devoted “soccer mom.” Her public struggle with the disease, and her involvement with cancer research at both institutions inspired many who deal with cancer.

Co-Chairs for this year’s event are Shelley and Mike Homa and Gina and Dr. Mack Greder. Honorary Chairs of “Kicks for a Cure” are former U.S. Sen. Dave Karnes and his and the late Liz Karnes’ daughters Korey, Kalen, Kara and Laurel.

"Kicks for a Cure” is not only for soccer fans. Anyone who has been touched by this disease is encouraged to donate a memorial or a tribute to a cancer victim or survivor, knowing their donations will directly support cancer research.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” said Daniel O’Neill, President of First National Bank of Omaha, presenting sponsor of “Kicks for a Cure.” He noted that “the passion and commitment that goes into this event is remarkable and instrumental in the support of cancer research. This research not only gives hope to patients and their families, but it also leads to innovative and more effective prevention and treatment approaches to cancer.”

Henry Lynch, M.D., Director of Creighton’s Hereditary Cancer Center, is an internationally known pioneer in hereditary cancer research. In the late 1960’s, when cancer was thought to be triggered almost solely by environmental causes, Lynch began pursuing a possible genetic link to certain cancer types, emphasizing breast cancer. His painstaking records and compilations of family medical history data led him to identify cancer syndromes and their patterns of inheritance through generations of extended families.

“As the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Nebraska, more than 200 nationally recognized clinical and basic science experts work in a bench-to-bedside research environment to develop more sensitive, effective and reliable tests for the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and to study the factors that influence the development of women’s cancers,” said Kenneth Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., Director, UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. “This collaboration supported by “Kicks for a Cure” is leading to more women being diagnosed early and surviving ovarian and other types of women’s cancer.”

Tickets for the soccer matches, proceeds of which will go to “Kicks for a Cure,” can be purchased at Creighton’s Ryan Athletic Center ticket office, beginning April 5 (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday). All seats are general admission and cost $8 for adults and $5 for youths. Children 5 years of age and younger will be admitted free. Discount coupons for $1 off are available at all Omaha-area First National Bank locations.

For more information on the soccer events, visit www.kicksforacure.org or email info@KicksforaCure.org.

For more information about the dinner, e-mail Amy.Deardorff@cox.net.