Barbi Manchester has taken to heart her goal of kicking lupus ith another fundraiser designed to reach a different group of persons. She said the Mayberry Kicking Lupus High School Kickball Tournament will be held June 7.
“We want to get as many teams from school as we can because we want to make this an annual event,” said Manchester. “The whole idea is we want to kick lupus. We are against it and about three years ago we had a kickball tournament to benefit research for it so this was a natural direction to go in. Many of our activities have focused on adults but we want to reach towards kids who need to know about Lupus.”
Manchester said all proceeds from the kickball tournament will go towards Lupus research. She said Mount Airy, North Surry and Surry Central are on board for this event. Manchester explained a team consists of five boys and five girls. It is $5 per person or $50 a team with admission for spectators set at $1.
Interested persons may sign up for Mount Airy by contacting contact Coach Howard Mayo at Mount Airy High, for North Surry contact Myra Combs and those from Surry Central contact Audra Hodges Johnson. Teams consisting of teachers are also welcome to participate.
Manchester said two student teams have signed up for Mount Airy, North Surry has four student teams and one teacher team and Surry Central has six student teams and one teacher team.
“Along with bragging rites, the winning team will receive individual medals and a large trophy to be displayed at their school until next year’s tournament, then it will be passed to the winner of that year,” said Manchester. “The winning school will also get to host next year’s kickball tournament at their school.”
She reports an early effort, the Mayberry Kicks Lupus Cornhole Tournament held during Farm Fest on May 17 this year raised $3,000 on its first outing. The event featured local musician Steve Hill’s band “The Remedy” with Old North State Winery staffers helping as well.
“I like being different. What we are doing is all trial and error,” Manchester said. “We’re excited about the event and about bringing awareness to another group of people. Ninety percent of women of child bearing age can get lupus so it’s a benefit to get educated before you reach that age. I’m not only looking at reaching more people but a different age group of people.”
Manchester also serves as an advisor for North Surry’s Interact Club which won a May 16, Put On Purple For Lupus Contest. Participants were encouraged to wear purple and take a group picture or a creative picture and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The shots were later posted on The Lupus Foundation of America’s national website. Contest officials report the Greyhounds won with a total of 460 votes in the contest where 200 pictures were submitted.
Previously, Manchester had announced the launch of “Mayberry Kicking Lupus” website. She said this has been a dream in the making for a couple years and is now a reality. Manchester said for the past several years, Mount Airy and Surry County’s businesses, schools, leaders and citizens have embraced and supported the “Mayberry’s Butterfly Walk For Lupus” as well and characterized the support as “overwhelming.”
She said ongoing efforts are tied to her high school career where she was a place kicker for the Mount Airy High School football team.
“We want families, friends and community to be more than walkers, donors or faces in the crowd,” said Manchester. “We want everyone to join us as competitors against Lupus.”