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News: Local youth football program tackles breast cancer

MCHENRY – McHenry Township Junior Warriors (MTJW) will be tackling breast cancer one yard at a time throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This program will involve youth football players, parents and community members by adorning football fields with pink ribbon messages to honor or memorialize women battling breast cancer.

MTJW players, coaches and families will be finding creative ways to express their pink support for each home game during October.

“This is MTJW’s way to help create awareness and honor those who have been touched by this disease,”  said Mike Sikula, MTJW president.

“We encourage and invite our community and neighbors to join us and our players in tackling breast cancer one yard at a time,”  said Tracy Fees, director of fundraising for MTJW. “Join us in cheering on our players as they make tackles for a great cause.” 

Ribbons will be available for a $1 donation and “Warriors – Tackling Breast Cancer One Yard at a Time”  T-shirts will be available for a $10 donation at the home football field in October. T-shirts are available while supplies last. MTJW will present the collected donations to the Centegra Health System Foundation to benefit the new Centegra Gavers Breast Center at the end of the month. For more information and field location visit

The Centegra Health System Foundation raises funds to support superior healthcare for greater McHenry County. The foundation provides Centegra with financial resources by seeking the support of individuals and corporations to bring state-of-the-art services to the community.

For more information on how the community can help inspire, invest and innovate healthcare in the area, call the Centegra Health System Foundation at (815) 788-5870 or visit

About MTJW

MTJW has been a part of McHenry County since 1965. It is a traveling program with five levels of play offered to children 7 to 14 years of age through eighth grade. The season begins at the end of July and runs until mid-November. MTJW is a nonprofit program organized by parent volunteers. It is a member of The Chicagoland Youth Football League. Its goal is to teach each player the fundamentals of football, safety, sportsmanship, character and teamwork. It is committed to each player and his safety on and off the field.

About Centegra Gavers Breast Center
The new Centegra Gavers Breast Center in Crystal Lake, previously the Crystal Lake Imaging Center, serves as the hub for Centegra Health System’s Breast Health program. It provides McHenry County patients identified with abnormal screening mammograms or other breast health concerns with a full continuum of follow-up diagnostics and required care in a coordinated and centralized location. Centegra has several state-of-the art imaging facilities throughout McHenry County that provide convenient access to individual imaging needs. Imaging services are also offered at Centegra Hospital-McHenry, Centegra Hospital-Woodstock, Crystal Lake Medical Arts and Centegra Health Center-Huntley.

Co-led by Medical Directors Aaron Schwaab, MD, and Gia Compagnoni, MD, the center accommodates any surgeon who wants to participate in the Breast Center process. If a patient requires more care, the center will seamlessly work with the patient’s referring physicians, surgeons, oncologists, sub-specialists and highly recognized staff at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center to make sure all the patient’s treatment needs are met.