By David Fong
TROY — Teaching his players about the game of football is important to Matt Burgbacher — but ultimately, teaching them to be aware, responsible members of the community will always be the No. 1 goal within Troy’s program.
“We want our young men to act in a way that makes people in the community proud of them,” the Troy football coach said. “It’s not enough to just be football players. We understand that our kids are role models, as well, and we want them to understand that eventually football will come to an end and hopefully they will have learned important life lessons from this sport.”
All of which is why Burgbacher is proud his team can be part of the Troy Football Parents Association’s “Children’s Cancer Awareness Be Bold, Wear Gold” campaign this Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium as the Trojans host Miamisburg.
The Troy Football Parents Association is attempting to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer patients and their families. The money raised from the event will go to the Dayton Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Department, specifically the patient-in-need-fund.
The game has been designated a “Gold Out” game, with both the Troy and Miamisburg communities being asked to wear custom-made T-shirts being sold at Troy High School, Troy Junior High School and the Van Cleve Sixth Grade Building. The shirts are being sold during lunch from now through Friday.
All profits from those shirts, along with all cash donations received from donors, will go directly to the oncology unit of Dayton Children’s Hospital. In addition to purchasing shirts, those who wish to help may do so by contributing to the CrowdRise.com online fundraiser by visiting the website: www.crowdrise.com/be-bold-wear-gold-troy-football/fundraiser/troyfootball
Burgbacher said the fundraiser is especially poignant considering Troy High School junior Shelby Mathes has been battling bone cancer. She will serve as an honorary team captain for Friday night’s game.
“I think this is great and we are proud to be a part of this,” Burgbacher said. “All of our students have been touched by this; they all know someone who has gone through this.”
The Dayton Children’s Hospital patient-in-fund program helps families with the cost of prescriptions, expensive medical equipment, meal cards, gas cards or transportation expenses to get to/from the hospital for treatment, parking passes, utilities or other household bills and mortgage/rent assistance.
Cancer treatment protocols typically last from 18 months to three years. During this time, it can have a significant financial impact on a family. In most cases, one parent must stop working to become a full-time caregiver for their child. This fund will help relieve some of the financial burden, so they can focus on the care of their loved one. On an annual basis, more than $50,000 is distributed to families in need through this fund.