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  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette “You can tell he's a kid who cares about others,” Bishop Luers coach Kyle Lindsay says about kicker Peyton Howe.

  • Howe

Thursday, August 03, 2017 1:00 am

Kicker's goal: Pile up points for kids

Luers senior leads effort to fight cancer

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Kicking cancer

Who: Peyton Howe, Bishop Luers senior kicker

What: “Kick It” for pediatric cancer research. For every point Howe makes throughout the season, donations will be made toward pediatric cancer research. One-time donations are also accepted.

When: Aug. 18 through the end of the season

How to pledge/donate: www.kick-it.org/champ/2017/08/kick-it-with-peyton

Bishop Luers kicker Peyton Howe's senior season will be dedicated and motivated by more than just his Knights teammates on the gridiron.

Howe has been accepting pledges that for every point he makes – extra point or field goal – money gets donated toward pediatric cancer research.

“I went to a kicking showcase camp in Chicago (in June) and a woman introduced Kick It to us and showed us a video about how we could help kids with cancer through Kick It,” he said. “You accept donations and pledges from people and for every extra point I make, I get some money.

“I really wanted to help. I started looking into it and saw that less than 4 percent of federal dollars that go toward cancer research goes to pediatric cancer. There's certain technology that kids get and treatments that are over 20 years old that haven't been updated and kids in our community, up to 250 kids at Lutheran Hospital, that have pediatric cancer, and I thought I could make a difference.”

At first, Howe would casually mention his involvement, but he started to see the full effect of his efforts just from posts on social media.

“I brought it up in passing,” he said. “I wasn't too serious, but when I started getting pledges (through Facebook and Twitter posts), I got more motivated and my teammates saw that I was the real deal.

“We had my holder and snapper come out and help me practice. They agreed to help me after practice, which didn't really happen before.”

Howe is also motivated by his cousin, Jordan Allen, who died at age 15 from a heart arrhythmia in 2005.

“I know my family went through a lot of pain with this,” Howe said. “It was difficult for my cousins to go to high school football games until I started to playing. Maybe through some of the donations and research, I could help with a breakthrough or make these kids more comfortable so parents don't have to go through that pain.”

Coach Kyle Lindsay is certain that even if the Bishop Luers football program didn't encourage community service with its players, Howe is the type of kid that would strive to serve others.

“It's something that we had to look into to make sure that what he was doing was falling within the rules,” Lindsay said. “Peyton's a special kid. You can tell he's a kid who cares about others.

“He's a great teammate, he's a great leader and what he's doing and with this program, something that he's passionate about but he's also trying to get others involved.”

Howe has already seen the ripple effects of his efforts through his teammates.

“We play for each other, but I wanted to make this about more than us,” Howe said. “I think that can really motivate us to do more. It's more than just a touchdown. I think it'll motivate the offense to go down the field and knowing we can help a kid just by scoring points. Defense, it'll help them get the ball back.

“It'll help people take special teams more seriously. It's more about points, it's about helping kids. I'm trying to get kids together to go to Lutheran or somewhere else in the community and go in and make them feel special.”

To pledge or make a one-time donation, go to www.kick-it.org, click “Support an Event or Individual” and search “Peyton Howe.”

Pledges will begin with the Knights' season-opening game at Carroll on Aug. 18.

areichel@jg.net