HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A teenager in Hendersonville, Tennessee, will host his eighth flag football tournament called "Football for the Cure" Sunday to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
After losing his aunt to ovarian cancer when he was just 10 years old, Jameson Wharton said he wanted to do his part to end cancer.
"Eight years ago I was just 10 years old at my granny's house, writing on plates, because my auntie had died and it hurt, it hurt to see her dying," explained 17-year-old Wharton. "And I was like, ‘I don't want people to experience this anymore. So I'm going to do something to try and help people out. I'm going to try to help raise money for the cure of cancer.’ And I just wrote down my idea on some plates and drew some jerseys and everything. My granny saw and told my mama. And that's how it kick-started."
From that fall on with the help of his family, Wharton has been hosting "Football for the Cure," and to date raised more than $10,000.
"Just seeing everybody come out, no matter how old, no matter who they are, no matter the backgrounds, no matter anything, just seeing everybody come out and everybody's having fun for a good cause," said Wharton, "It's just amazing to me and I'm glad I get to be part of it."
The tournament is not just about raising money but also reflecting.
"When you sign up... you can write a name of somebody that you play for. Let it be a relative or a friend, a friend of a friend that died or has been affected of cancer, you can write their name down on a sheet, and we'll pray over those people," explained Wharton.
This year Wharton said he has a name to write down next to his aunt he lost years ago, his Mimi.
"Mimi recently passed away [from cancer] and I know it was big for her family that I keep this going, because it really affected them and it affected me too because she was very important to me," said Wharton.
The flag football tournament is for kids ages six to 18 and will be played at the Drakes Creek Park Soccer Field in Hendersonville, Sunday, October 17, 2021, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Wharton said there is no need to sign up, anyone can show up and play for $5 and/or donate by clicking here.
You can also follow along with the fundraiser on their Facebook page.