Palmetto Bay residents Bonnee Binker and Jerry Socherman are hosting “Kick CF with Bryant Mckinnie and Friends” on Feb. 24 at Palmetto Bay Park.
The fundraiser is to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for its ongoing research in combating the illness and in the hope of finding a cure. The cause is especially personal.
Bonnie Binker’s granddaughter, Delaney, who is in first grade at Dr. Henry E. Perrine Academy of the Arts in Palmetto Bay, has cystic fibrosis.
“This is the fifth year [for the event]; it’s the second year we’re doing it at Palmetto Bay Park,” Binker said. “It was at Coral Reef Senior High prior to this. My granddaughter, who is 7 years old, has cystic fibrosis and right after she was diagnosed we became involved in the foundation locally.
“I am now the chair of the Miami-Dade Advisory Board and I am the 2018 national co-chair of the Volunteer Leadership Conference, so both on a national level and a local level we’re involved.”
Delaney’s godfather, Jerry Socherman, is hosting the kick-ball tournament with Binker. Why kick-kall?
“We knew we were looking for a different kind of a fundraiser and we met Bryant McKinnie who at the time had just been with the Miami Dolphins and we said to him, ‘we would love if you could help us’ and he said ‘come up with an event that’s not golf or fishing, because we’re all tired of golf and fishing, and I’ll come on board,’” Binker said.
“So he has been our celebrity chair for the past five years. He brings each year 12 to 15 former NFL players, most of them were Miami Hurricanes and they play the winner of our tournament.”
In the tournament, participants join a team and engage in a day of athletic fun, CF awareness, and competitive spirit. It is a multiple team, family-oriented event. Teams can consist of eight to 12 players and be comprised of adults and children ages 8 years and older. Games and divisions will be determined by the age of team participants. Don’t have enough players to make up a team? They will coordinate individuals or small groups into teams with others.
Palmetto Bay Councilmember Karyn Cunningham has been enlisted in the project.
“I am honored to have been asked to serve as the community chair for this event,” Cunningham said. “CF has some really startling statistics. According to CFF’s National Patient Registry, the median age of survival for a person with CF is 33.4 years.
“While this is a great improvement since only 30 years ago a CF patient was not expected to reach adulthood, no child should live life with an expiration date looming over them. They are so close to finding a cure and it is initiatives like this that can help push that research over the top that will add tomorrows to the lives of children living with CF.”
Binker said she is pleased that so many people have helped each year. Community involvement means a lot.
“There are tons of players who have come out to support us and they are so generous with their time,” Binker said. “And Pub Grill, Giardino Salads and Offerdahl’s provides the food for everybody, free of charge, as it’s part of the registration. They’re extremely generous. They bring out food for 600 people.”
She said that in the first year the event raised $3,000 and that this past year the tournament raised over $40,000. The money goes straight to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which is coming up with the funding to find the cure.
“If Delaney had been born 50 years ago she would have had an expected life of 5 years old, Binker said. “She has a 50 percent chance of living to 37. It’s going up every day. We think the cure will be 20 to 25 years from now.”
The tournament begins at 1 p.m. Palmetto Bay Park is located at 17535 SW 95 Ave. For information or to register visit https://kickcfmiami2018.passioncff.org/.