History of the TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
2009 Inaugural TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
August 8, 2009 Pinckney, Michigan. On a damp and stormy Saturday in Michigan, ~100 brave souls endured the elements to raise awareness and funds for brain tumor research in a unique new fundraiser, the “Tumors Suck! Paintball Benefit”.That’s right… paintball! Paintball falls directly in line with the attitude of “mAss Kickers”.
The day started off with a heavy downpour and the chance of thunder showers. Within minutes the chance of thunder showers turned into actual thunder showers. The enthusiasm of the members of the FUBAR paintball team provided a “calming-spark” to those eager to play yet disappointed by the weather. Everyone had to patiently wait out the lightning. FUBAR‘s participation in the event was key to it’s success. They volunteered to mentor participants in this event to share stategy, techniques, and paintball etiquette.
Some of the participants drove hours from the other side of the state to participate in the event! The inclimate weather would not be a deterant for these “mAss Kickers” looking to try paintball. There were creative variations on typical paintball games including “capture the cure” and “survivors vs tumors”. The highlight of the day was “the gauntlet”. Members of FUBAR volunteered to literally be targets for participants who donated to the fundraiser! They would run across the open field and hide behind targets (or chose to instigate the shooters in the open field!) It provided some humorous moments for everyone involved. Their willingness to “take one for the team” was a display of the solidarity that is essential to combat an intimidating diagnosis. Everyone had the opportunity to take a shot at moving “targets” for charity. FUBAR definitely created some memorable moments for a lot of people. For one day, patients and their loved ones didn’t have to worry about their medical battles and feel like they could go on the attack.
As the day progressed, the clouds disappeared and the rain finally stopped. The day was very sympbolic of the attitude a newly diagnosed patient and his/her loved ones must possess in order to effectively battle an intimidating diagnosis. Things look stormy at first, but with correct knowledge, the right attitude, and patience… things can get better. We are looking forward to the next paintball event. Stay tuned, mAss Kickers has a few more events planned!
2010 2nd Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
8/14/10 Pinckney, MI – Hell Survivors Paintball Field. Despite a humid midwestern summer day, >150 people came out to support the 2nd Annual Tumors Suck Paintball Benefit. The inagural event, the first of it’s kind last year, was cursed by severe thunderstorms but it was energized by the enthusiasm and dedication of Team FUBAR. This year there were no thunderstorms, and the expectations were raised with a year of experience in planning the event. The 2010 event was highlighted by a few new wrinkles, a logo was created specifically for the event by Enuf Marketing and Design, a bounce house for kids was introduced, and many new faces participated in the event. A lot of newbie paintballers got their first taste of paintball play and Team FUBAR once again put on their “mentoring mask” for all the new players. This year there were more female players, and the enthusiasm for the event increased by at least 10 fold! The event t-shirt featured the slogan “this ain’t no pity party” that expressed the sentiment underlying the purpose of playing paintball as a benefit for cancer and brain tumor advocacy. There are many similarities between paintball and a new tumor diagnosis. One needs to be cautious, yet stay on the “offensive”. Much like a medical situation, it is also important that all teammates (medical team +family) are working in a coordinated effort towards accomplishing the mission (beating the tumor mass.) In a new intimidating situation, one can choose to:
- SURVIVE – weather an “attack”,
- DIVE - give up hope,
- or THRIVE – continue to do what you need to do and fight back
The paintball benefit is an event where both survivors and non-survivors can thrive by uniting to show support combating all tumors. mAss Kickers Foundation (MKF) looks to provide support and motivation to all newly-diagnosed patients, family, and friends affected by tumors or cancer. MKF serves this mission through its website, fund-raising, and select events (such as paintball) throughout the year. MKF uses two campaigns in the war on both malignant and nonmalignant tumors. TUMORS SUCK! is a public awareness campaign. It is meant to unify all those touched by a tumor or cancer with a pugilistic, rebellious attitude. Basically, people just wear the logo or post the logo somewhere people can see it to show support for someone under going treatment for a tumor mass… malignant or “non-malignant”. USE THE K.U.R.E. is an action campaign for the newly diagnosed patient and their loved ones to combat any intimidating diagnosis. K.U.R.E. stands for Use Knowledge, Promote Unity, Support Research, and EMPOWER YOURSELF. It’s an excellent strategy to combat an intimidating tumor mass diagnosis not only on an individual level but also on a larger community level.
Many of the participants this year expressed how much fun they had. They look forward to next year’s event. The highlight of the event was “the gauntlet”. Members of Team FUBAR again volunteered to be moving targets as a unique way to raise funds for mAss Kickers Foundation and the National Brain Tumor Society. As a “sniper” in the gauntlet, I couldn’t help but laugh at the way Team FUBAR hammed up the gauntlet .
The 2010 paintball benefit was a huge success and doubled funds raised from last year under the leadership of Angel Bureau and Andrew Wlodyga. With another successful event under our belt, we expect an even bigger event next year. I can’t wait to see the new wrinkles in the 2011 paintball benefit.
2011 3rd Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
2012 4th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
– I met Eric randomly in 2011. He happened to be from the same city that I currently live in (Ypsilanti). I found out we were both brain tumor survivors. He tried to get me to go to the Masskicker’s Paintball Benefit, but I was stubborn and I declined. I was concerned about the physical demands and chickened out. But at least I got to eat some burritos with Eric and his brother, Oliver in Ypsi. I told myself that next year I should give it a chance.
2013 5th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
Pinckney, MI: On August 1, 2015 we held the 7th annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit at Hell's Survivors Paintball Field. There were more kids this year and all the paintball teams do a great job making sure everyone has a good time. Under the leadership of Angel Bureau, Andy Wlodyga, and the "Mitten Men" the event has grown even bigger. It is always great to se
e people unite for a great cause! For parents, it's a unique way to PLAY with you kids/family. The speed of the paintballs was turned down and the age limit was dropped to 6 years old to make the event more friendly to the "newbies" and more become more family oriented! It was great to see quite a few parents playing with their kids this year! It is definitely a unique way to do a family fun event! This year there were 2 paintball "tanks" where survivors could go out onto the field and shoot their paintball guns at people without return fire... "FEAR THE TANK". It was great seeing families having fun doing something unique together! I give props to the all the moms and dads that played paintball with their kids! HAHAHA! Parents are always cleaning up after their kids. It's not often that parents get to have fun getting messy WITH their kids! It definitely was cool seeing the kids having fun for a good cause! We are creating a new generation of mAss Kickers who enjoy supporting our unique activities. The Paintball Benefit gets bigger and more fun every year! We always look forward to welcoming new people to the event! Everyone does 5Ks or Event Galas to promote their causes. While we think that it is great, we wanted to do something unique and fun for everyone. Andy is one of my closest friends from growing up and when he found out that I was battling a brain tumor, he wanted to create a unique event to support the young organization I had created, mAss Kickers Foundation. He brought in his significant other, Angel Bureau to organize the event logistics. They do a great job every year recruiting players, volunteers, securing sponsors, and raising funds for mAss Kickers Foundation! We even created a website specifically for the the event in the hopes of expanding the event to other venues in different states. We are very excited about the potential for growth! IT IS A VERY UNIQUE AND FUN EVENT FOR EVERYONE!
*STAY TUNED FOR NEWS ON THE NEXT EVENT IN 2016