The Medina High School boys lacrosse team raised about $8,500 at a recent dinner/raffle to cover expenses and to help a former teammate battling cancer.
“The response of the community brings me to tears,” fundraiser volunteer Kelly Wesner said. She is also a team mom.
“We have done this fundraiser dinner for several years to support our team as well as to cover a charitable donation, and this year we decided again to help the family of Collin Kiousis, a former teammate battling cancer.
The team will donate $600 to the Kiousis family.
Kiousis, a college student at the University of Akron, is fighting colon cancer and carcinoma.
“The lacrosse team has always been a family, but with each year our family grows as the community continues to step up to support us,” Wesner said.
“It’s important to give back,” she said. “It’s a lovely family.”
The team asked local businesses to help sponsor the event at the Medina Moose Club and organizers said they were overwhelmed by the reaction.
“Dan’s Dogs donated an entire salad bar, and Santosuossos donated pasta,” Wesner said. “The gift baskets donated for our raffle were unimaginable. Brandon Short of Rise Fitness donated one that was worth $800. People stepped up from all over the area to support us and the Kiousis family.”
Items remaining after the fundraiser were taken to the Salvation Army.
“The donations help more people than we initially anticipated,” Wesner said.
Last year’s dinner provided funding for the boys to assemble “care packages” to send to deployed military personnel overseas, as well as a donation to the Kiousis family.
Bees coach Jake Kubasta said the event teaches a lesson to the community and the team.
“The boys learn the importance of giving back to the community, and their supporters also learn a little bit about how important continued teamwork is,” he said.
“What is so unique about Medina is how many people stepped up to join our team’s fundraising efforts. When you ask for community donations, you expect to get a few donations — maybe a box of things like utensils. The donations just kept coming, though. It was so lovely to see the community standing beside us,” Kubasta said.
The event drew an estimated 200 people.