March 14, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer
Excitement is building among local athletes planning to participate in the 14th Annual “Knock Out Cancer” basketball competitions on Saturday, April 1, at South Shore Sports Center.
The event raises awareness and funds to fight breast cancer as a continuing way to honor the memory of former Hingham resident Janice Mannion.
The event will take place at 55 Recreation Park Drive in Hingham from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will include hot shot and knock out contests for girls, boys, and adults and a silent auction.
The competition, which was inspired by Mannion as she battled cancer, supports cancer care and research through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund and attracts more than 100 participants and many spectators, who have an all-around fun time during the event.
“This is an important cause, because cancer continues to be prevalent and affects many people, so we will keep on [until a cure is found],” Janice’s husband, John Mannion, told the Hingham Anchor. He co-chairs the event with fellow Hingham resident Jim Brady.
In 2010, when Janice was first diagnosed with breast cancer, the fourth-grade travel basketball team that included their son, Conall, and their friend Warren Pelissier’s son, Owen, wanted to show their support for Janice. (The Mannions also have a son, Jack.) The KOC event was the outcome of that desire.
Pelissier is the President of the Special Needs Athletic Partnership (SNAP), which is a non-profit organization that provides athletic and recreational activities for South Shore children and young adults with special needs and different abilities.
“SNAP members, mentors, and families participate in and support this fundraiser,” Mannion said.
While his wife passed away in March 2016, her desire that others continue to fight -– and one day beat –- cancer remains uppermost in the thoughts of event organizers and her family and friends.
Other sponsors and supporters besides South Shore Sports Center include South Shore Bank and the Worthwhile Life Foundation.
The schedule is as follows:
* 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. SNAP Knock Out and Hot Shot
* 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Middle and High School Knock Out and Hot Shot
* 6:45 – 7:30 p.m. Adult Knock Out and Hot Shot
* 7:30 – 8:15 p.m. Open Knock Out — Open Division –- all ages – girls, boys, women, men
Hot Shot is a basketball skills competition that involves shooting baskets from “hot spots” marked on a portion of the basketball court. This competition tests speed, shooting, dribbling, and rebounding ability within a series of time periods.
The Jimmy Fund has been the recipient of the majority of the $210,000 raised so far through KOC, which is a proud member of the Jimmy Fund Hall of Fame.
The Worthwhile Life Foundation has made a donation to the KOC cause for a number of years, including sharing some of the proceeds from the recent WLF Bowlathon. “Some people participate in both events,” Mannion said, expressing appreciation for their support.
WLF aims to make a positive difference “with worthy individuals, organizations, and causes” in the communities the organization serves.
Mannion also is appreciative of the South Shore Sports Center for donating the use of the space for this event as well as some of the proceeds from the bar.
For further information, to register, make a donation, or purchase a KOC t-shirt (provided by South Shore Bank), go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/knock-out-cancer-2023-tickets-547715310237. Mail-in pre-registration and walk-in registration are also available. Participation in the KOC is not limited to Hingham residents. All proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund.
More information about the silent auction will be available as the day of the event approaches. Those wishing to donate an item(s) — especially tickets to sports events — are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 771-1877.