Be The Match for Donna Thomas Fundraiser and kickball tournament a huge success


Plastic bottles stocked full with loose change were continuously turned in by students to science teacher Dr. Richard Thomas. These coin-filled bottles were the admission to a very important event at Northwest High.
Last Saturday Nov. 9, Thomas and two seniors from Leadership Team, Bailey Clark and Jessica Hunter, hosted a kickball tournament in honor of Thomas’s wife Donna, who has been fighting a rare blood cancer since last Jan.
“Close to $1,100 [was raised],” Thomas said, indicating that the tournament was incredibly successful.
The event was an amazing turnout as well, with about 70 participants, including a few teachers and parents.
“It was really fun and competitive,” sophomore Danny Greene said, describing the tournament. Participants played kickball at Northwest’s baseball/softball field.
Eight different teams were formed, competing in a single elimination format with the losing team being removed from the competition after each game. Winners advanced throughout the tournament until the championship game determined the grand victor.
And what would a competition be without prizes? Donuts were awarded to the winning team.
“[My team] made it to the semi-finals,” Greene said. “I enjoyed it.”
It was expected to be chilly the day of the tournament, but frosty weather wasn’t going to stop the games.
“It was a little cold, but I had a good time,” Thomas said. “I had fun getting down there with all the students.”
A clever way to collect donations was thought up, and that was to have students and kickball tournament participants fill an empty plastic bottle with loose change.
Although these donations and the money raised during the games did not go directly toward Thomas’s family, it was gathered to give to the Be The Match Foundation, an organization that provides genetic analysis for people who require bone marrow services.
“Every hundred dollars you raise has the potential to save one life,” Thomas said. “That’s enough to save 10 or 11 people.”
Thomas and his wife are sincerely thankful for the amount of support and people who joined in the fun of the kickball games.
“I hope Leadership Team knows I’m grateful,” said Thomas.