17-year-old takes on colon cancer with a popular backyard game

Wifflin’ vs. Cancer raised over $7’Ks’ and was planned in honor of his mom

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Brandon Burns (17) pitches for his team at Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer

On Saturday, July 27, twenty-three teams descended on Northwood Park in New Hope, Minn. to play wiffle ball and raise money for colon cancer education, prevention and screening at WIFFLIN’ VS. CANCER.

Planned by Brandon Burns, 17, with help from his family and friends, the tournament raised over $7,000 for the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear. The money was raised through entry fees, silent auction, sponsorships, and food sales.

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Brandon (center), his mom Shannon (right), with a family friend, Kelly (left), at Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer

Burns began planning the tournament in October 2012 a little over two years after his mother, Shannon (43), was first diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. He spent much of his junior year building strikeplates, securing sponsors and soliciting nearly 25 silent auction items including: an Ipod touch, MN Twins tickets, Beats by Dre studio headphones, A GoPro camera, a limited edition Matt Blair photography print, and a Justin Morneau autographed 16×20 photo.

As they told Brian Rosemyer from the  Sun Sailor in an article from June 18, 2013:

“When I went in for my two-year check-up and they told me the cancer might be back, I told the boys,” she said. “Brandon’s first words were ‘whatever, we’ll just have a wiffle ball tournament.’”

The winning team, ‘Stache Swag, took home the trophy and bragging rights from the inaugural Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer.
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Congrats to ‘Stache Swag on taking home the 2013 Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer trophy

We would like to give a great big “HIGH FIVE” to:

  • Brandon Burns, for coordinating the tournament
  • Luke Jarzyna, Co-coordinator
  • Martin Jarzyna, Co-coordinator
  • Shannon E Burns, Brandon’s mom, ideas and planning
  • Shannon R Burns, Brandon’s dad, building of strikeplates and day of logistics
  • Andrew Swartchick, Singing the national anthem
  • Paul Starke, Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer event emcee
  • And Stacy Hazuka, Mike Hazuka and Greg Thoennes, Event-day volunteers
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Anne Carlson, Colon Cancer Coalition Executive Director (left), celebrates a successful Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer with Brandon Burns and his co-coordinators.

 

Also big “THANKS” to Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer sponsors:

  • Fan HQ
  • Orsten Turkey Farms
  • T-Bros Logistics
  • Hopkins Auto Body
  • Lunds & Byerlys
  • Marge & Rayburn Orsten
  • PowerPlay Marketing

Most photos provided by Wifflin’ Vs. Cancer, see more on their Facebook page.

Photo of Kelly, Brandon, and Shannon was taken by Anne Carlson.

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