Purple Community Blog

23 Jan 2018

South Christian football team tackled cancer and raised $37,000!

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On October 13, 2017, South Christian High School stormed the football field donned in purple to support their friends and family who have been affected by cancer. Wearing jerseys with names in memory or in honor of loved ones, their “purple out” football game supported cancer research at Van Andel Institute (VAI).

The evening started off with a balloon release in memory of loved ones, and throughout the game there were fun activities for attendees, including a photo booth; purple merchandise available for donations; and a very special moment at half time when they honored three of their own who have lived with cancer—Coach Bob Blacquiere, Doug Bakker and Evan Beukema. During one of the most touching moments of the night, hundreds of Coach Blacquiere’s former players took to the field to honor him and his cancer journey.


South Christian and Thornapple Kellogg played a thrilling game ending with a final score of 7-33—a BIG purple victory for the sailors! We’re thankful to both football communities for coming together to tackle cancer and make a difference.

South Christian been a dedicated Purple Community partner for the past several years. The school’s Purple Community events have been a wonderful way for the community to show support and passion for cancer research. And this year was no exception. South Christian’s initial fundraising goal was $20,000 dollars, but they blew past it, ultimately raising over $37,000!

Thank you so much South Christian for all your support in raising awareness and spreading the mission of Van Andel Institute and bringing HOPE to our community. We can’t wait to see you this fall!