The Broad Run Spartans head over to
Brambleton Friday, Oct. 18, for the third Battle for a Better Cause against the
Briar Woods Falcons.
This year, the community is ask to “Stand Up for Gavin Rupp” in tribute to the young boy who lost his life earlier this year after a long battle with brain cancer.
Rather than encouraging students to wear their schools colors, organizers ask them to wear a white T-shirt – or purchase a Battle for a Better Cause T-shirt, which both schools are selling – to create a “white out” at the stadium.
Although unable to play football, Gavin loved the sport. Instead, he played baseball, wearing number 15. Gavin touched the lives of everyone he met and his dedication to raising awareness and funding for childhood cancer research caught the attention of Washington Nationals outfielder, Bryce Harper. On July 5, 2013 Rupp threw the first pitched to Harper at Nationals Park. Harper later paid tribute to Gavin during the MLB’s Home Run Derby.
Gavin's fight has inspired not just Harper, but the entire Ashburn community as well as his family and friends back "home" in Ohio.
Currently, childhood cancers receive less than 4 percent of available cancer research dollars. Gavin's dream was to raise awareness and increase funding so that future generations of children will not have to endure what he did.
He believed strongly in the concept of paying it forward. To that end, the Rupp family has established the iPromise15 foundation to raise scholarship funding for future childhood cancer researchers.
All proceeds raised through this year's Battle for a Better Cause T-shirt sales will go to iPromise15. Donations will also be accepted and can be made out to the "Gavin Rupp Medical Fund," which will become the iPromise15 fund.
The original "Battle" raised money for another Ashburn resident, Ryan Diviney, a former Broad Run football player who was left in a coma-like state after a brutal beating outside a West Virginia University convenience store in November 2009. Ryan lives in Ashburn Village with his parents, who care for his ongoing needs full time.
Ryan wore the number 1 in his years as a Broad Run football player, and the first year's T-shirt design was done in classic Broad Run and Briar Woods Colors with “1” on the back. To help with the ongoing needs of the Diviney family go to http://ryansrally.org. In addition, “loose change" donations will be accepted at this year's Battle for Ryan's continuing care.
Last year, the two schools joined together in memory of Cameron Carter, the younger sister of former Briar Woods football player, Alex Carter, who now plays at Stanford. Cameron passed away in her sleep as a result of her Type 1 Diabetes, and so the proceeds from the second "Battle" went to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund in her honor. Cameron’s “Battle” T-shirt was designed in her favorite color, purple, and bore her Volleyball number, 5, on the back. Cam's Light wristbands created to honor Cam will be available Friday.
This year’s “Battle” T-shirt was redesigned in the colors of Gavin Rupp's favorite college football team, Ohio State, and the number 15.
The shirts will be sold at schools throughout the week for $10. Checks can be made to GRMF (Gavin Rupp Medical Fund). Shirts will also be sold during the freshman and JV games today, Oct. 15, as well as at the varsity game Friday. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Friday and the game starts at 7 p.m.
Follow Battle for a Better Cause on Twitter (@For a Better Cause) and Facebook (Battle For a Better Cause 2013). All of the profits from the sales will go to iPromise15.
[Thanks to Andrea McSorley for providing this information.]