Making a change one kick at a time

Junior football kicker creates campaign to raise money for cancer research


Amelia Southern

Huxley Richardson (11) leads the students in a march for our lives walkout chant. On April 20, 2018, Richardson and three other students lead students on a school walk out to promote change in gun policy after the multiple school shootings occurred.

Laney Hoggatt, Co Editor-in-Chief

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Over 38.4 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life according to the National Cancer Institute. Certain types can be prevented, but at the moment there is no definitive cure. Several programs have been created to fund cancer research. Junior Huxley Richardson decided to take part in one. Richardson is the varsity football team’s kicker. He decided to participate in a foundation called Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Foundation for childhood cancer. His part in the foundation involves the points he scores during this football season. People can pledge a certain amount of money for every point scored. For example, if someone were to pledge a dollar and he scored 3 points, then the person would pay three dollars. People can also just donate an amount overall rather than per point.

Richardson was inspired to participate after hearing about the foundation when he went to a kicking showcase. He saw a video about a 10-year-old boy, Quinn Clarke, who was a very talented soccer player that got cancer as a child. The boy was no longer able to play after being diagnosed. However, he wanted to help raise money for cancer research, so he and his family hosted a kickball game. The family was shocked when over 500 people showed up to play. After the popularity of this event, the Clarke family start the campaign “Kick it for Cancer.” The campaign grew in 2012 when an Ohio All-State football player, Matt Colella, decided to help out. He was the team’s kicker. Colella battled cancer in middle school and helped the campaign by asking people to pledge a dollar amount for each point he made or donate a one time amount. This sparked the foundation’s popularity and inspired communities and athletes all around the nation. It recently opened up to the public so that anyone could help raise money. This story was inspiring to Richardson, but it was not until this summer that he decided to participate in the foundation.

This summer, junior Carson Jordan lost his father, Mark Jordan, to cancer. Carson and Richardson were teammates. In fact, Carson is the team’s holder so he always caught and held the ball steady for Richardson. Richardson started the campaign in honor of Mark. Mark was a big part of the community and was well-known.

“I never had the chance to meet him but everyone called him ‘Jolly’ so judging by his name and the number of people at his funeral, he was really big in the community and everybody loved him,” Richardson said.

This fundraiser is not the first significant event that Richarson has participated in to aid the community. Richardson has a history of social activism. Last year, he was one of four students that lead a walk out on April 20. The walkout was to promote change in gun policies and help lawmakers realize that students felt unsafe at school after the multiple school shootings occurred in 2018. His inspiration for doing the walkout came from the Parkland students.

“I saw that [the Parkland students] were taking charge and thought that would be a [good] thing to do,” Richardson said. “I saw that a lot of people were passionate and I believe that if somebody took charge, … people would come behind it.”

Richardson is far more than just a kicker for the football team. He is involved in several other programs offered by the school. Other than football, he plays soccer and basketball. He is also a part of Dawg Crew and Ambassadors.

Richardson has a bright future ahead of him and has already begun planning for his future even though he is only a junior. He has no set college in mind but does know what he wants to do in college. He hopes to play football as the kicker and plans to major in business or economics and minor in Spanish.

“I would love to go kick in college and to play football,” Richardson said.

Richardson says he is inspired by his parents. They have taught him to work hard in life, to persevere, and to be the best person he can be.

“I wanted to join the fight against cancer and help out,” Richardson said. “I want to raise awareness.”

For students interested in either the Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Foundation for Childhood Cancer or Richardson’s campaign below are the following links:
Richardson’s Campaign
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Campaign

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