Written by Garrett Liebe, organizer of Chapel Hill High School Vs. Cancer fundraiser
My time with Vs. Cancer has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Unfortunately, cancer has had an effect on most of our lives, whether it’s a family member, loved one, or friend. At Chapel Hill High School, our goal was to help those in need during perhaps the hardest time of their lives. We were able to raise a little over $38,000 in the first three years of the fundraiser, half of which will help local families. I remember my first fundraiser with Chase in 6th grade, where we raised over $10,000. My brother’s teammate had a neighbor that was battling cancer, and they made him an honorary team member for the day. When I saw how happy this kid was to put his battle with cancer aside and enjoy the game of baseball, I realized that I wanted to continue the fundraiser.
My sophomore year of high school, I had the opportunity to continue the fundraiser at Chapel Hill High School. At the time, I was the youngest guy on the team, and was initially hesitant to pitch the idea since I tried to lay low and do my job most of the year. After the fundraiser, I felt more comfortable with voicing myself in an unfamiliar situation. I initially told my coach about the fundraiser and he was all in with the idea, Coach Land has been in full support of our fundraiser over and I was extremely grateful to have him involved.
Leading the fundraiser gave me leadership skills, and better communication skills from talking to teammates, coaches, and the other team. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the fundraiser was the camaraderie shown by my teammates and how much of a community effort the fundraiser became. This past fundraiser, both student bodies (Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill High School) were involved in the fundraising process and created an unmatchable atmosphere the night of the game. The two schools set the rivalry aside for a greater cause, and made a difference in our community. These fundraisers have taught me that baseball is so much more than a game, it is a platform that allows for athletes like us to help change lives. I hope to continue my efforts with Vs. Cancer throughout college, it has been a truly amazing experience.