COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – When the Collinsville High School football team takes the field, the stands are typically filled with fans wearing the school color.
“Friday’s, we wear purple,” said Daniel Toberman, school principal.
Friday night’s game against Alton High School took on a different look. Many fans were wearing gold-colored t-shirts to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
“It’s a special cause so, we’re willing to make a special exception,” Toberman said.
The first-ever “Golden Game” at the high school was an idea created by students who formed the Childhood Cancer Awareness Club. Through t-shirt sales and various fundraisers, the club raised $8,000 heading into Friday night’s game.
The students formed the club after learning about a tragedy involving one of their teachers, Kim Lobb who lost her grandson, Elijah, to cancer.
“We need to raise awareness and we need to let people know that this is out there,” Lobb said. “We need help.”
She said the club’s goal was to raise $10,000 with 90% going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and 10% going to the family of a child with cancer.
“It’s very heartwarming to know that my grandson had touched people by telling his story,” Lobb said.
Heilly Gonzales and Maddy Zellerman are student co-presidents of the high school’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Club. Audria Lange chaired the committee that organized Friday’s inaugural Golden game. All three are sophomores.
“This is very special,” Gonzales said. “It is our very first Golden game.”
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Zellerman said. “It brings so much joy to my life. This club means a lot.”
The fans were given an opportunity to donate and participate in the 50/50 raffle. The halftime included recognition for those facing childhood cancer battles.
“I’m very proud of myself and everybody who was part of helping to make sure everything ran smoothly,” Lange said.