As mentioned on several occasions, Knoxville has been the top Coaches vs. Cancer community in the Midwest for the past two years. The American Cancer Society has taken notice, and Uitermarkt said he received a call from a top official within the organization. The official is curious about why Knoxville has seen such successful fundraising, unmatched in the Midwest.
Uitermarkt is grateful for all of the support the community has shown through the years, but what inspires him the most is the initiative shown by his players. Even for those who have graduated and moved on, the experience of being a part of a community-wide fundraiser stays with them.
"They walk away from high school understanding the value of getting involved," Uitermarkt said. He has heard from recent alumni, who have contacted him to wish him well with the event.
Other highlights from this year's Coaches vs. Cancer event will include a memory wall (an area for one to write a dedication to someone he or she knows who has been afflicted with cancer), pink ice cream, dinner by Steve Coon, a special performance by the K-Line Dance Team and this year, every player - Knoxville boys and girls, as well as Chariton - will have the name of someone who has or had cancer they would like to dedicate the game to. The dedications will be listed in the game's program with the players' names.
Even though Uitermarkt has been at the center of Coaches vs. Cancer for years now, he remains enthusiastic about the event every year. As the event draws nearer, the excitement builds.
If you would like to order a shirt or make a donation, email Uitermarkt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shirt orders will be taken through Jan. 12.
Look for more on Coaches vs. Cancer in the coming weeks.