Orion football Tackle Cancer Night

Mindy Carls
Orion cheerleaders form a pyramid between the first and second quarters of the varsity football game with Princeton on Friday, April 9, at Charger Field.
Orion cheerleaders made a banner that said “One Day, One Night, One Community, One Fight” for the Tackle Cancer game on Friday, April 9, at Charger Field. Players running through the banner are, in front from left, Luke Johnson (21) and Luke Dunlap (76) and behind them Brody Straw (44) and Kale Stropes (57)
The Orion football program has hosted Tackle Cancer Night since 2009. Laurie Thornburg and Jeanine West organized the event for 10 years to honor the memory of their sister, Deanne Zurcher, who was the Quad Cities Breast Cancer Survivor of the Year in 2010. She died of breast cancer in 2011. Despite COVID-19 restrictions that limited crowd size this year, the event raised $3,500 for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. Before the varsity game on Friday, April 9, at Charger Field, Kara Matzen was honored for her battle with breast cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family gathered on the track to join Orion players and fans in re-creating the wave featured at Iowa games, where everyone turns to wave at children watching from the nearby hospital overlooking Kinnick Stadium. Using a drone, Kevin Eastin captured the moment to send to the children’s hospital.