Thousands of people in the CSRA have been affected in some way or another by cancer. One local high school student is making it her mission to raise money to beat the disease and to raise awareness to youth sports.
“There’s not a lot of young people that take the initiative to do something like this,” said Harlem High School senior Dixie Hill.
Christine O’Meara from the Georgia Cancer Center added, “Its wonderful to see young people engage and very aware of cancer.”
Softball runs deep in the blood of Hill.
She said, “I’ve been where they are and I know at this stage it’s very important to be out and playing and they learn a lot at this age.”
The softball tournament on Sunday consisted of five local travel teams. Hill organized the entire thing.
“Just trying to get through senior projects. everybody is stressed out from it. Everybody is worried about a deadline,” said Hill.
The tournament was inspired by Hill’s grandfather who died on her 16th birthday after battling lung cancer.
She explained, “He was my best friend. He was one of the important men in my life besides my father. He taught me everything. We knew we wanted to benefit somebody who had been through what we’ve been through in any way that we could.”
“This is so important to engage our community, to honor someone who had cancer and to take that sorrow and that experience and convert it into something the community can rally behind,” said O’Meara.
Not only did Hill’s tournament raise more than 500 dollars for the Georgia Cancer Center, but her tournament also focuses on teaching youth the value of hard work through sports.
“Sports is very good at teaching people to be independent and to have a good work ethic,” asserted Hill.
In many people’s eyes, they may see Hill’s tournament as a big deal.
She said, “I’m nothing important. I’m nothing big. I just wanted to do something to help the community.”
After high school Hill plans to study diagnostic medical sonography at Augusta Tech.