Houlton soccer athletes raise money for cancer cause

HOULTON, Maine — Members of the Houlton Middle-High School boys and girls soccer team have traditionally gone to great lengths to raise money for cancer awareness.

 Each fall, the two teams hold raffles, selling tickets at local soccer games, in an effort to collect money for Bridge to Hope, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping families with the expenses associated with cancer care.

The teams would also wear pink shirts during pre-game warmups as a way to draw attention to the cause.

But this past year, the two squads were unable to do their traditional fundraising, as COVID-19 prevented the group from having spectators at their games.

“We couldn’t do the regular things,” explained Jennifer Johnston, one of the parent volunteers for the effort.

Instead the two teams decided to come up with shirts and sweatshirts that could be purchased by anyone interested as a way to generate funds for Bridge to Hope. 

“We sold a lot more shirts than we originally expected,” said Emma Ardell, a senior member of the girls soccer team.

John Harvell of State Farm Insurance in Houlton caught wind of the group’s plight and made an additional monetary donation to the cause. In total, the groups were able to raise nearly $1,000 for Bridge to Hope.

“It is just totally amazing how we are supported by the kids at Houlton,” said Dee Butler Henderson, a spokesperson for Bridge to Hope. “We appreciate everything they do and every little bit helps. It’s totally heartwarming.”

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