Kids to host 3on3 Soccer Tournament benefiting kids’ cancer research June 8

Ellery Robinson on the soccer field.
Micah shave
Micah Bernstein after a St. Baldrick’s Foundation “Head Shave for Childhood Cancer” event. Courtesy

When Micah Bernstein was diagnosed with cancer as a toddler, his friend Zachary Robinson – also just a kid – decided he wanted to do something to help. His parents explained that kids’ cancers really need funding for research. Zachary put his thinking cap on and came up with Hoops for Lives, a 3on3 Basketball Tourney last year that raised nearly $12,000 — completely surpassing his $2,000 fundraising goal.

This year Ellery, Zachary’s sister, is taking the lead with Goals for Lives: a 3on3 Soccer Tournament for kids, produced by kids, and played by kids.

“We chose basketball last year because my brother loves the game,” says Ellery. “We had 40 teams and sold out a month before the event. Teams were trying to register up until event day. It was so exciting! I hope we get the same great response this year.”

Ellery and Zachary agreed to take the tournament to the soccer fields this year, because Ellery loves soccer. She plays for Surf San Diego on Coach Craig Barclay’s 2008 team, and Coach Barclay and other Surf coaches are helping her spread the word. The kids are asking for the local soccer community to help make the tournament great. The team is even stronger with the participation of Coach Mario Mrakovic of San Diego Surf and San Diego Futsal, Coach Sarah Schiff and the support of Surf Cup Sports.

Micah hair
Micah Bernstein on “Crazy Hair Day.” Courtesy

“Sign-up early!” quips Ellery. Registration before May 1 is only $99 per team.

The 3on3 tourney is divided into brackets dividing boys/girls, recreational/competitive, and birth years ranging from 2004 through 2012. You can check out the all the details on the registration page

Attendees and participants alike can expect a fun, family-friendly afternoon at Sycamore Ridge Elementary School in Carmel Valley. Guests of honor include professional athletes from the San Diego Sockers and San Diego SeaLions. At the suggestion of Micah’s family, Goals for Lives will benefit Beat Nb, a national nonprofit focused on beating childhood cancers through funding innovative research and clinical trials that are available to kids fighting cancer right here at Rady’s Children’s Hospital and over 40 other sites nationwide. One-hundred percent of event proceeds will be donated to Beat Nb.

Micah Bernstein of Carlsbad was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was just 15 months old. He underwent chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, MIBG therapy, and immunotherapy over the next 18 months, only to find that the disease had come back one week before his end-of-treatment exam. Micah resumed chemo and radiation, and treated the new disease, but relapsed again within six months. Micah’s family and doctors pursued another course of treatment and Micah was finally clear of disease – more than two years after having been originally diagnosed. Because of the aggressive nature of neuroblastoma, the Bernsteins kept Micah, now 8, on maintenance therapies, including DFMO, a clinical trial funded by Beat Nb. Micah completed the DFMO trial in February and will have his first post-treatment exam in May.

“I am doing this because learning about kids with cancer has encouraged me to try to make their lives better,” says Ellery. “One thing I learned is that current cancer treatments are very hard on young bodies and while some kids are fortunate enough to survive treatment, the treatments can destroy their bodies, hurt their brains and make it so they can’t have kids. The name of the tournament is Goals for Lives, we really want these kids to still have Goals for their Lives.”

To support these philanthropic kids in their efforts to help fight kids’ cancer, sign up to play in the tournament, try your luck in the Best Uniform contest and/or the Soccer Drill Contest, or volunteer at the event.

Goals for Lives will be held at Sycamore Ridge Elementary School, 5333 Old Carmel Valley Rd, San Diego, 92130 on Saturday, June 8, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Get your team together, register online, make a donation or volunteer at — News release

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