The Post-Journal

Karate Students Donate to ACS

In 2008, the American Cancer Society estimates that 565,650 people will die of cancer, or more than 1,500 people each day. In the United States, cancer accounts for one out of every four deaths.

It’s because of statistics like these that “cancer” has become a household term. For those in the Jamestown area who have had the disease or whose life has been claimed by it, there are dozens more who know someone afflicted with the disease.

For Christina Kebort, chief karate instructor at the Jamestown YMCA, the story is no different. She and her brother, William, who is a student of hers, lost their mother, foster father, and numerous family members and friends to the disease.

”This is most definitely personal for me,” she said. “The first year we did this was 2004. My mother was here to see that one, and she died two months after we held it. I miss the people I’ve lost to cancer.”

On Thursday afternoon, Ms. Kebort and Sensei Michael Phillips, along with William Kebort, Charles Herline, Gabby Sandberg and Max Nunes, participated in a karate kick-a-thon at the YMCA.

By going door-to-door seeking donations the group raised $307 for the American Cancer Society. After the event, Ms. Kebort presented a check to Michael Porpiglia, the eastern division community executive for the ACS.

“It might not be a lot of money compared to some of the donations the ACS gets, but every little bit counts.” Ms Kebort said. “This is our way of giving back and helping the ACS with their research. Someday, we will beat this.”

As part of the kick-a-thon, the students each broke a board with a hand or a foot. They also put on a demonstration of their abilities and performed self defense maneuvers.

“Breaking the boards is symbolic for us.” Ms. Kebort said. “It’s our way of showing that, if we try hard enough we can break through cancer.”

Phillips, like Ms. Kebort lost family and friends to cancer. The disease prevented him from knowing his great grandmother, who died from it when he was a baby.

Herline, a student who is new to karate, shyly said he felt “happy” about making a donation to ACS. “It’s a good thing to do.” he said.

Sandberg said she felt it was “very good to help others” and she was “happy” about getting to take part in the kick-a-thon

“I was pretty excited to do it.” Nunes said, “I think a lot of people have cancer or know someone who has cancer.”

Porpiglia said he was “so pleased” to hear that Ms. Kebort’s students wanted to donate to the ACS. “The symbol of breaking the boards is just wonderful.” he said, “I look forward to the day when we can say that cancer has been cured.” Porpiglia said the money will go to help provide services such as transportation, free-of-charge to cancer patients in Chautauqua County.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.