The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU kicker hosting second annual Kicking Cancer fundraiser

Event to feature live and silent auctions, April 19 at Zeppoz
Zeppoz during the first Kicking Cancer event. Photo courtesy of Dean Janikowski

Dean Janikowski, kicker for the WSU football team, will be hosting the second annual Kicking Cancer fundraising event from 5-10 p.m. April 19 at Zeppoz bowling alley.

After his mom passed away from breast cancer a few years ago, he and his family started the Heather Janikowski Foundation, he said. His mom was always super involved and helpful in the community and during her breast cancer journey, she was helping others who were going through the same thing she was.

His family started by doing fundraising 5k runs and hikes back in California, where his hometown is, to raise money for people fighting cancer, Janikowski said. He said he wanted to bring this fundraising to Pullman and wanted to use his platform with football to get the cause out there.

Last year over 250 people attended the event and raised around $39,000, with 100 percent of proceeds going to two people fighting cancer in Spokane, one person in Pullman, and then an additional $5,000 went to Seattle Children’s Hospital, he said.

Janikowski said this year there is estimated to be over 300 people in attendance, and he hopes to raise over $50,000.

The foundation picks who receive the money through word of mouth among those in the community. At first, they struggled to find people who actually needed the money, but now that people have heard more about the foundation, they are able to find people more easily, he said.

The foundation recently gave $10,000 to a girl out in Colfax, which helped to pay for her bone marrow transplant, Janikowski said. He met with the owners of Zeppoz last year and came up with the idea for a bowling tournament. He only had eight weeks to plan the first annual event but had a whole year for planning and advertising this time around.

They advertised the event at the end of football games and at the beer gardens, he said. All the sponsored lanes at the bowling alley have already been filled, but this is an open event and everyone is welcome.

There will be 50 silent auction items and there will be an auctioneer for a live auction featuring 12 big items with a trip to Hawaii, four round-trip tickets to anywhere in the country and more, he said. The auctions are open to everyone.

“We got a bunch of stuff so it should be really fun, and everyone who bowls gets a football player to compete with, so it will be really fun,” Janikowski said.

He said everyone who helped with this event volunteered, and he plans to continue doing this event for as long as he can. Although this is his last year on the football team, his brother will be at WSU for the next four years so he said he will continue the Kicking Cancer event at least until his brother graduates.

“We raised more money in the small town of Pullman, than we did in the whole state of California,” Janikowski said.

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