Creston EAST Presents: A Golden Fight Against Childhood Cancer


Creston EAST Presents:   A Golden Fight Against Childhood Cancer
3/1/2010 11:01:58 AM

Students rally entire community in campaign against childhood cancer.

"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul."


--Jim Valvano (Former North Carolina State Men's Basketball Coach and Cancer Sufferer)


It was a night that no one will soon forget.


On February 16, 2010, the Creston High School EAST program sponsored what is believed to the first of its kind "Gold Out" in the state of Iowa to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer research. That night the Creston boys' basketball team played the #9 Harlan Cyclones in their final regular season home game of the year. In front of a golden-hued, standing room only crowd of approximately 900 rabid fans, Harlan defeated Creston by a score of 69-49. Despite the score there were no losers at the event that night.


As evidenced by more than 1,100 gold t-shirts designed by EAST students Kaytee S. and Tyler D. sold in the week preceding the game (in a community of only 7,500 people), approximately 400 gold wristbands designed by EAST student Allison W. sold the day of the game, the 100+ golden Panthers tattoos designed and sold by EAST student Shelby K., the 100+ gold tipped flowers decorated and sold by EAST students Jessica B. and Wesley H., with the phrase "Win The Fight" displayed prominently on the specially made gold jerseys in lieu of the school name and mascot, and the 53 local business owners and individuals that pledged either products or monetary donations for the cause it was clear that the entire community of Creston was unified with one goal in mind: winning the fight against childhood cancer.



Unknowingly, the event planning started nearly 15 years ago before Creston EAST ever existed. It started in 1995 when a young boy in Creston was diagnosed with childhood leukemia at the tender age of three. The young boy battled and battled through the disease that once had a more than 80% mortality rate until he received a clean bill of health. Now fast forward a decade and a half and there is that same boy, now a young man, receiving the first start of his varsity career on Senior Night running through the tunnel of adoring teammates as a standing room only crowd erupts in cheers drowning out the public address announcer pronunciation of his name. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, hairs stood on end and no one in attendance will ever forget about the sight and scene unfolding before their eyes.


With only 15 seconds remaining in the game the Hollywood-esque ending came to fruition as the aforementioned senior corralled an offensive rebound and banked in a five footer jump shot recording his first career varsity basket. More tears were shed and congratulatory hugs and high fives were given well into the snowy Creston night.


Although final numbers are not yet available for this historic event, members of the community of Creston pledged more then $27 for every point scored by the Panthers as well as a myriad of other donations and product giveaways.


In the days following the event, more than four full pages in the local newspaper, The Creston News Advertiser, have been dedicated to the event. There have also been countless congratulatory comments bestowed upon the Creston EAST students, Creston EAST program and the Creston boys' basketball team for their efforts in making February 16, 2010, such a memorable day by members of the community, administration and even from the opposing team and crowd from the game.


It is our hope that more than $5,000 was raised from the event. That money will be donated to the American Cancer Society representative during a special ceremony later this year.







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