History of the TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

paintball 2009 flier2009 Inaugural TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

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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!

paintbal 20102010 2nd Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

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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.

CHECK OUT THE PICTURES FROM THE 2010 TUMORS SUCK PAINTBALL BENEFIT. 

2011 paintball flier 8002011 3rd Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

 
RECAP by Catherine Blotner
I attended the 3rd annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit last Saturday at Hell Survivors Paintball Playfield in Pinckney, MI, and had a BLAST for the second year in a row. Every single person there had smiles on their faces, and the adrenalin rush you got on the field was incredible. The best thing about the event is how it perfectly embodies the fighting attitude that the mAss Kickers Foundation promotes. Last year’s benefit was my first time ever playing paintball or attending a MKF event, and I loved every minute I spent on and off the field. However, I had to depart around noon last year to take my sister back to college, so I missed out on all of the fun after lunch including the raffle and gauntlet challenge. This year I was able to stay and kick mAss all day! My Dad and I filmed a news segment for Fox 2 Detroit last week to promote the event, which brought in some new friendly faces and got the MKF some deserved publicity with the help of Andy Wlodyga setting everything up and Sean Lee producing.
It was great to see the families that I met at last year’s event as well as the dozens of professional paintball players who helped out from the Great Lakes Rangers and team F.U.B.A.R back again and ready to kick some mAss on the field! The professional players let my friends and I borrow their pads, jerseys, guns, and masks for an unforgettable day on and off the field. In the morning I was welcomed by Derrell, my personal body guard from team F.U.B.A.R., who presented me with an honorary team F.U.B.A.R. t-shirt! When the time came to pick teams (red or yellow) I teamed up with F.U.B.A.R. on the yellow team while some of my friends joined the Great Lakes Rangers on the red team. We played 5 rounds in the morning before lunch and then spent an hour or so raffling off prizes, eating, and dancing in the rain. There was a FREE massage table open all day, so I took advantage of my recovering back (I had surgery towards the end of March) and squeezed in some time on the table while it rained. As if the day couldn’t get any better after playing paintball and receiving a massage, a volunteer decided to give me the paintball gun that she won in the raffle, and a man gave me his CO2 tank so that I could continue the paintball fun at home in my own backyard.
My favorite part of the day was running through the gauntlet. It’s basically an open field with a few blow up blockades to hide behind while people line up along the side of the field to open fire at you. Usually the people who run through the gauntlet are the professional players who are used to getting pelted every weekend and don’t mind the welts and bruises. This year I decided to join them! My first two runs across the field were a little scary, but when you’re running around and having the time of your life you barely even feel the sting of the paintballs hitting. The fact that I was running through the field was a big deal – after having back surgery 4-5 months ago and not running for about 9 months I have to admit that I was a bit out of shape. My bodyguard and buddy Derrell assisted me across the field for the next few runs as we skipped and held hands :).
I’ve still got bruises on my legs and booty a week later but they were all worth it! 

paintball 2012 flyer2012 4th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

RECAP by Jason Zao

August 4, 2012 Pinckney Michigan  –  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.

In 2012, Eric invited me to a pre-event dinner at Potbelly’s, down the road from me and I decided it would be good to meet some new people. I’m really glad I went. I got to meet two really cool girls from New York (Deana and Jamie) and I got to know Eric and Oliver better. We spent the entire night talking and barely any of it was about cancer or brain tumors. I had so much fun that night and there was more to come the next day!
Oliver kindly drove the girls and I to the event in the morning. I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first. There were all these hardcore paintballers with mohawks and heavy duty gear. Thankfully, I had at least gotten to know Eric, Oliver, Deana and Jaime. So I had some comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only person who was pretty new to paintballing. I had no idea there was so much stuff involved in paintball ( markers/guns, masks, CO2 ,pads, loose clothing, missions,  special fields, referees, etc.). I was in no hurry to get on the field, but it seemed like everyone wanted get out and going. So I got my gun, mask, paintballs, and CO2 tank filled and quickly followed Oliver on to the field. (This is before I realized someone was going to give me pads a special shirt, and a body guard). I was nervous, but knew I was going to stick close to Oliver. That is… until he got shot right next to me. We were hiding behind a small building and taking on heavy fire. I had never heard such noises. Paintballs were hitting walls rapidly and zipping past my head. It was loud! We were pinned down and I couldn’t tell who was friendly and who I was supposed to be shooting. When Oliver got on the ground to shoot some rounds off he got hit pretty quickly. I was left all alone! Then some guy , who I think was on my team told me shoot at some hidden guy up front. As soon as I took a peak around the corner I got shot in the abdomen. I think it might have ricocheted off the building because it only stung a little. My shirt was a mess and I was out of the game. I don’t think I even got a shot off. I was too worried about shooting my own teammate. Everyone had masks and was in camouflage. It was hot and I was pooped!
The second time around, I was more prepared, but I still didn’t know who to fire at. I was stuck behind a tree and was just firing randomly from behind the tree with my bodyguard. Then what was supposed to be a “helicopter” came around and I was told to fire on it. So I started to unload on it. It must have gone behind one of my teammates because he told me to stop shooting him in the leg. (LOL!)I was just firing as many paintballs at the thing as I could. When I got back to the tents I didn’t even realize that my socks and shoes were covered in paint. Who would shoot at my feet, right? I was pretty unscathed though.
The best part of the day was when we got to unload paintballs on a bunch of unarmed volunteers running around a paintball course. I must have fired off 400 paintballs! An added bonus to the day was the M-16 marker I was given during the raffle. It’s pretty sweet looking and I can’t wait to use it next year.
Overall, meeting new people was the best part of the event. The organizers and the volunteers were really great.  As a 15-year brain cancer survivor, I’ve been to several Relay for Life events and I have to say the Hell’s Survivor’s Benefit was by far more fun. It’s nice to have an alternative experience. I look forward to returning next year. 
 

paintball 20132013 5th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

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August 3, 2013 mAss Kickers Foundation held the 5th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit.  The enthusiam of the survivors participating is growing each year.  A sense of family is being formed, and we look forward to reconnecting with everyone each year.  To make things more interesting, members of local paintball teams volunteered to wax their chest hair in front of everyone to solicit donations for MKF. Their reactions entertained the crowd!
We welcomed many new people to the event and look forward to seeing them at the future events!  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
paintball 20142014 TSPB LOGO2014 6th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit
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August 2, 2014 Pinckney Michigan.  The event continues to gain momentum in the Midwestern paintball community and local Oncology Community.  We countinue to be impressed by the support from the local community and Team of volunteers.  This year, we had more participants from local high schools volunteering at the event!  The support we are receiving has been tremendous!  We are hoping to recreate the event in other areas of the country!  STAY TUNED!
 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 7th Annual TUMORS SUCK! Paintball Benefit

2015 tspb flier

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

Tags: paintball , tumors suck,, mAss Kickers Foundation,, charity paintball,