“Juggling for Jude: 9 year-old raises $32,000 to fight cancer” is our TeamSnap and SportsFeelGoodStories.com Sports Feel Good Story of the Year winner for 2014. And, what a great story it is!
Sports Feel Good Story of the Year Winner
Hollis Belger’s story, submitted by her mother Allison, highlighted Hollis’ almost daily practice of soccer juggling – using just her feet – as she spearheaded a fundraising campaign to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Hollis’ program was a big success on many levels. She increased awareness of St. Jude’s in her community and raised over $32,000. St. Jude’s, located in Memphis, Tennessee, treats all kids with cancer free of charge and is a leader in research to cure childhood catastrophic diseases.
And, her soccer juggling improved to the point where she could keep the ball in the air for 461 touches. Oh, and that’s without using knees or thighs. Very impressive!
Allison Belger wins $500 for her story submission. Congratulations!
The Sports Feel Good Story of the Year contest was launched in May of this year and entries were received from all around the U.S. and the world. The 5 finalists selected in early November included entries from California, Minnesota, Maryland, Canada and India. Sports fans and the general public were invited to vote for during the month of November culminating in today’s announcement of the winners.
The Second Place winner was “Hockey Coach’s Assessment: The Kids Get It” submitted by Darren Ferris which tells the story of teammate support for a player new to hockey. Ferris, a youth hockey coach, watched his players’ selfless play and was inspired to write his story.
Third Place went to Justin Johnson’s submission, “NFL Player Retires to Donate Kidney to his Brother.” Ravens’ offensive lineman Ma’ake Kemoeat retired to donate his kidney to his younger brother Chris, a former lineman with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s not often that you see such cooperation between the Ravens and the Steelers.
On behalf of the folks at TeamSnap, Sports Feel Good Stores would like to thank all of the folks who submitted stories and voted for the “Sports Feel Good Story of the Year.” We know that these great stories represent just a very small fraction of all the great things going on in the sports world. It’s our hope that communicating these stories, and others like it, provides folks a source of inspiration. We’re also seeing athletes, coaches and fans modeling acts of sportsmanship and selflessness after hearing about others’ actions. That’s encouraging. Please help us spread the word.