BALTIMORE - In it's third year running, the group has already scored big. They've raised enough money to pay for a Johns Hopkins sarcoma research grant. But for a determined group, this is just the beginning.
"When I first started it, I was still playing," says the event's founder, Rachel Ballatori. "I was running from the fields, to the raffles, to the admissions tables, and I was just going crazy."
The former Johns Hopkins lacrosse player has rallied teammates for three years, kicking off an annual tournament to raise funds for sarcoma research.
"My goal for this year is to really emphasize the family as a whole as a unit; it doesn't just affect the individual who has cancer, but it's the whole family, and it's a very trying process," she says.
Ballatori's father was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer in 2011. Since then, she's used her skills to raise money and awareness.
"The word I kept using in the past was helpless," she says. "You know, I'm here and I want to help, so I think the inception of the tournament was to give him a milestone to achieve."
Now, she's reaching out to families struggling with all forms of cancer.
"I think seeing the success, or the struggles of these families is what gets the community involved. And putting a real life picture in front of people that are donating money, it allows you to see where the money can go, and that miracles do work," Ballatori says.
The event kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 6 at Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University. The university's women's lacrosse team is hosting 'Stick it to Sarcoma,' and this year four other teams plan to be involved. The group says they'll have raffles, T-shirts, a silent auction, and plenty of outdoor fun. Admission fee is $5, and all proceeds go toward sarcoma research.
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