By: Trish Adkins
High school junior Luke Snyder is not unfamiliar with making saves.
During a typical soccer game, the 16-year-old goalie relentlessly protects his team’s goal. As a result, Luke’s Mechanicsburg, PA-based soccer club team, the HMMS Eagle FC ’03 is ranked 8th in the country.
But this past summer, Luke did more than make saves on the soccer field. Luke decided to help make some saves for children with cancer.
Luke was looking for an opportunity to give back to the community. His dad, Eric Snyder, happened to meet an Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) board member at business networking event and mentioned ALSF to Luke. Luke researched the Foundation and found out about the Champion for Kids with Cancer program.
The Champion program gives athletes a chance to perform at their best on and off the field. Athletes—soccer players, field hockey teams, runners, cyclists or any athlete—can sign up and commit to fundraising for childhood cancer research throughout their season.
Luke’s team was heading to the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Eastern Regional Finals in West Virginia that summer, so Luke decided to ask his community to make a pledged donation per save during the tournament. His goal was 20 saves and $2,500.
“I have two younger brothers who also play soccer. We are all healthy and enjoy sports very much, but there are other kids that are less fortunate and struggling with the terrible challenge of battling cancer,” said Luke. “Some of these kids cannot participate in sports and are struggling just to survive.”
While preparing for the tournament, Luke began reaching out to his friends, family and also to local businesses. He implored his high school classmates to give up one soda or coffee a week and instead donate that money to ALSF.
The result was incredible. Not only did friends and family make personal donations to his Champion fundraising page, but a local pizza shop and a brewery both held events to raise money.
At the tournament, Luke made numerous saves, each one in honor of kids with cancer. His team came up short, losing against clubs from Maryland and New York.
But Luke did not fall short. His efforts created a huge win for kids battling cancer. In the end, Luke and his supporters raised nearly $15,000 for childhood cancer research.
“I’m proud of his willingness to both think bigger about how he could positively impact his community by teaming with ALSF and also his willingness to donate his time and energy. At 6’4”, Luke’s a big athlete, but we are most proud of his big heart!” said Luke’s dad Eric.
Athletes of all ages can make a difference for kids with cancer. No matter what you play, you can dedicate your sport season to make a difference as a Champion for Kids with Cancer! Start turning your stats into research dollars for safer treatments and more cures for children with cancer at ALSFchampions.org.