Editor's note: The following article has been submitted to honor cancer victim Kym Zimmer.
BY LISA BEACH
Special to Tioga County Sports Report
CANDOR — On Sunday at the Candor High School football field, people were filling the stands. All three levels of SVEC Youth Football were preparing for the first playoff game of the season.
As I was on the sidelines with my camera, I noticed the 'A' team players were already arriving at 11:30 a.m. Their game didn’t start until 3:30 p.m. It was adding up and my curiosity was getting the best of me, because I received a message to be at the game for 11:30 because something was happening and they wanted my camera there to capture it. There I stood doing what I do and snapping away.
At halftime of the SVEC 'C' team Flag game there was a request over the PA system, for Kymberlee Zimmer to report to the 50-yard line of the field. Chills came over me and I got teary. Kymberlee asked me what is going on? I replied, I know as much as you. She asked me to stand with her as she was getting nervous. And then the tears started flowing, as Jatona Cody walked to the field with a bouquet of flowers and presented them. Fred Swayze, SVEC’s very own sportscaster, began to speak.
“You’re our very own super hero right here in Candor. We have watched you go through so much in the last six months and come out a warrior. Not one single treatment has held you back from sitting at countless practices and games with the biggest smile on your face. Not one bad day has held you back from putting in many hours with our youth group, or that we will be forever thankful.
“We as a community have admired the positive and strong demeanor you have had throughout your entire journey, but we also know the inner battle you have struggled as well. Today Kym, we wanted to show you just how much love and support your community and football family have for you."
From both gates of the field a total of 80 football players began to pour in the stadium wearing T-shirts designed by Cody and created by Jim and Betsy from Susquehanna Printers of Owego in support for Kym and her family. On a black T-shirt is a purple football connected to the universal breast cancer symbol, with Eagles written on the pink ribbon. On the back of the shirt it says “ZIMMERSTRONG." All the spectators began to applaud.
Fred continues as they fill the field on each side of Kym. “We have the T-shirts everyone is wearing today for sale at the concession stand and all the money from their sale, as well as 50 percent of all money made from concessions will be donated to your family. Heres to two more treatments and kicking' butt. ”
SVEC Youth Football coaches, and over 200 parents, and 80 football players, as well as the SVEC cheerleaders, made a selfless difference to a family that has suffered in silence the last six months. And, I might add, managed to keep it all a secret was a success. Taking time out of this competitive league of football, to spotlight a tribute to Kymberlee Zimmer and her family is what this football family is all about, simply admirable!
So far this tribute has collected $1,200to help Kym and William Zimmer with medical costs and a getaway for them to enjoy a vacation.
T-shirts will continue to be on sale this coming Saturday, Oct. 19, at the second playoff game, starting at 3 p.m. at the Candor High School concession stand. There are youth sizes as well as adult sizes still available for $15 each. Come out and support these amazing fighters, both SVEC Youth Football and the Zimmer family.
IN PHOTO 1: Kym Zimmer. ... PHOTOS COURTESY OF LISA BEACH.
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