Soccer jamboree held in Belchertown to honor 14-year old who died from cancer
BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Julia Haynes was only 14 years old when she passed away in March, due to a common type of brain tumor in children called medulloblastoma.
On Sunday, her friends, along with her family, celebrated Julia’s life by getting on the pitch and throwing the julia haynes 3v3 soccer jamboree for the first time.
“We kind of just wanted to help keep her memory alive. and for everyone to know how good a person she was,” said one of Julia’s friends.
What was once just an idea became reality. An all-day soccer tournament and fundraising event with enough action for everyone. With kids from third grade to high school participating and sharing one goal...
“We’re raising funds for a scholarship in her name. which will be provided to belchertown students, here in the community,” said Misty Haynes, Julia’s mom.
Misty tells Western Mass News that today’s event serves many purposes. but for her, is a chance to say thank you and honor her daughter’s life.
“The community of belchertown, who has been supporting my family and my daughter since she was diagnosed in 2021, all the way through, until now. Secondly, just the importance of raising awareness for pediatric cancer,” said Misty
Each year, approximately 357 people are diagnosed with medulloblastoma in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. and from that, 61% are children under 15 years old.
That number, along with Julia’s love of soccer, inspired her mom to create the tournament.
The community of belchertown is showed up for Julia once again. Fundraising goals are set and Julia’s legacy continues.
“We actually set out to be cash-positive with our costs, and we have achieved that. so, we’ve raised enough money to start awarding scholarships in the 2024 graduation year and to carry on for the next several years,” said Misty
Haynes tells us that these efforts will benefit senior students in Belchertown and that the criteria for those eligible for the scholarship will be revealed later through the soccer tournament’s social media platforms.
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