Count yourself blessed if you were in attendance at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym for the JDHS versus Thunder Mountain High School boys varsity basketball game on Feb. 3. It was a heartfelt evening in which our community came together in a unique memorial to honor Kevin Guimmayen – a JDHS standout athlete (number 10) who was well respected, admired by all, and made a difference in this world.
Kevin had been diagnosed with leukemia and fought hard for several years, but lost that battle this past summer. Organizers Keela Kelly and coach Robert Casperson had a desire to publically bring honor and attention to just how special this young man was to so many people.
That is where the idea of the #SOCKITTOCANCER leukemia awareness fundraiser got its start. Warm up shirts with Kevin’s initials and number were designed and ordered for both basketball teams (KG #10), orange “number 10” socks were ordered for both teams and for sale to the public, and orange wrist bands were available to all who came. Orange designates the color for leukemia cancer awareness and there were waves of orange everywhere!
Donations from the socks went to the local Cancer Connection to help other Southeast Alaska folks going through cancer. The goal of $5,000 was easily surpassed as the evening progressed. Inventory quickly sold out and special orders were taken. Baked goods were sold in the commons and those funds were also donated.
The highlights of the evening included video sport clips of Kevin at his finest and a speech by Coach Casperson that told the story of who Kevin was, what he was made of and how he inspired all.
There was so much hard work that went in to putting this event together and we are so grateful for the opportunity to let our community know that Cancer Connection is here to help those undergoing a cancer journey.
A huge thank you goes out to Keela Kelly, Coach Casperson, Shannon West, Devon West, Candy Held, Heidi Richards, and so many other folks that gave of their time and money to bring this evening of honor to Kevin’s family, friends, & community.
Cancer Connection office co-manager