Sunday, August 2, 2015

Throwback Is Back For Third Year

For the past few months, I've been struggling with what to do in regards to my self enforced dress code for the 2015-16 high school sports season.

In the last two years, I've raised $3,655 for the Montgomery County Cancer Association in honor of my grandmother, Virginia Armour, and great-uncle, Lyndal Herschelman, by promising to modify my wardrobe to include a fedora, long sleeve shirt, suspenders and a tie, last year of which was the bow tie variety.

Kyle is working on his "throwback" reporter look for a third year.
The outfit is hot, slightly uncomfortable and I've nearly been decapitated by shoddy suspenders. It also garners a number of  odd looks and comments, something the introverted side of me could do without.

It's also completely worth it. It gives me the opportunity to speak about all of the great things that the MCCA has done for my family and my community.

It has given me perseverance to push through hard times as my grandma and uncle have done time after time.

And it has given me hope as donations surpassed my goal both years and donors shared their stories on how cancer affected their lives.

Normally the "Throwback Cancer" campaign would be a no-brainer for year three, but in November, things became more complicated.

With my daughter Grace's diagnosis of infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy late last year, my family's focus has been on raising funds for the research study at Washington University that is looking for treatments for this rare genetic disorder that saps children of motor and cognitive skills.

So far, we have received almost $40,000 in donations from all over our community as friends, family and even strangers have embraced our cause as if it were their own.

Their financial support makes it difficult for me to ask them to donate more of their hard earned money to another cause, no matter how worthy that cause may be.

Even Alicia Grosenheider, one of the driving forces for the MCCA's Montgomery County Breast Cancer Support Group said that it would be alright if we dedicated the throwback campaign to the INAD study.

Despite my reservations, I've decided to continue my fundraising for the MCCA this year and every year for the foreseeable future.

My decision stems from the same reason why I started the campaign in the first place. I draw inspiration from my grandmother and uncle as they battle this disease the way others have drawn inspiration from our battle with INAD.

Their faith and perseverance continues to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other and appreciating all of the gifts that God has blessed me with.

So again, I am striving to raise $500, which has been my goal each of the last two years. That money will help the MCCA support those who need it most - cancer patients and their families.

Last year's extended goal was more than $1,200, which we hit with room to spare as we raised $2,455 when all was said and done. In return, I agreed to go with the bow tie all year as an added quirk.

This year's bonus goal will be to surpass the $2,455 mark that I set last year. To make things interesting, I will either shave my head to start the season or not shave until the end of the sports calendar year. Which one I will do will be decided on by our faithful Twitter followers at

Mary lobbied for the head shaving, while I pushed for no shaving in 2015-16. We'll see who comes out ahead.

Again, thank you all for your support these last few months and years and please consider contributing a dollar or two to this campaign.

Contributions may be mailed to Kyle Herschelman, c/o The Journal-News, P.O. Box 100, Hillsboro, IL 62049.

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