Sporting WCA

The Blue Crew is wearing Yellow?

This Friday, January 25, the WCA Blue Crew’s Theme for the basketball games will be a Yellow Out, a far cry from the usual blue and white. This strange theme is in response to Westminster’s kicker, Andrew Kempen who has been working with Kick-It For Cancer (Part of Alex’s Lemonade Stand) for 3 years. The WCA Blue Crew is now teaming up with Kempen  to raise support for childhood cancer research (awareness color is yellow) and to try and reach Kempen’s goal of $7,000.

From morning workouts, to after school practices, to homework at night, high school athletes have plenty to worry about without adding anything else to their plate. But Andrew Kempen has taken on something bigger than high school.

Despite growing up a soccer player, Kempen had always dreamed of playing football. His freshman year he played soccer but worked out with the football team punting and kicking in practice and even a few games, where he found great success. At the end of the 2016 season, it was clear Kempen was lined up to have the varsity kicking role the next year.

He turned all his focus to football and began to travel to various camps across the county. Kempen attended a Kohl’s Kicking Camp in Wisconsin, where he met Sam Foltz and Mike Sadler (Nebraska’s punter and Michigan State’s punter), who were not only great football players, but exceptional people as well.

“They were mentors to me, teaching me how to achieve my goals both on and off the field,” recalled Kempen.

But late on the night of July 23, 2016, Sam and Mike were involved in a tragic car accident that took both of their lives.

“I was devastated.” said Kempen, “But Sam and Mike had always shown that there was more to life outside of football, and I wanted to honor them and follow their lead.”

Sam and Mike had been working with Kick it for Cancer, a program of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation that helps athletes raise money for childhood cancer research, for a few years prior to their deaths. Andrew took up their fight and followed in their footsteps. He began to sell bracelets and collect donations at every football game, and set up an account with Kick-It.

With the help of his mom, Marjan, and dad, Kevin, he has raised $10,000 for childhood cancer research, funding almost 5 weeks of research ($2,000 is equal to 1 week of research) in the 3 years since he started.

But as always, Andrew isn’t satisfied to settle into complacency. He has one final goal for high school, and that is to raise $7,000 before he graduates. He currently sits at $3,333, so the Westminster Blue Crew decided to come alongside Kempen and help him try and reach his goal.

“Seeing Andrew’s compassion and drive to help those around him is amazing,” said Thomas Shultz, Blue Crew President, “Usually Blue Crew’s job is to cheer for Andrew during games, but now it’s time we support him off the field as well.”

The Blue Crew is fundraising through 2 events, a dress down day and a raffle. The dress down day will be Friday at school, where students can donate $5 and dress down in YELLOW for Childhood Cancer Awareness.

There will also be 2 seperate raffles, a student raffle and a non student raffle. The prizes for students are a Westminster Shirt from the bookstore, Hollyberry Cookies, Cupliting Coffee, Beats™ Headphones, or Free Chick-fil-a for 6 months (1 meal a week for 6 months). The non-student prize is free Chick-fil-a for 6 months.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $1, Friday at school (Student Life Office) as well as at the 5:30 and 7:00 Basketball games (outside the door at the booth). Drawings will happen at halftime of the 7:00pm game.

“I’d encourage everyone to get involved,” continued Shultz, “I know it’s cliché, but it’s true; every dollar matters. The hardest part about helping in your community is knowing where to start, and this is a pretty great opportunity.”

The games are 5:30 for the girls and 7:00 for the boys, and we hope to see everyone (both students and parents) decked out in yellow as we support Andrew Kempen, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and all of those who are trying to kick cancer once and for all.