Rapides Cancer Center is combining a passion for raising money for the American Cancer Society with support for local high school football-playing schools.

The result is Kick Cancer, a program in which each field goal or Point After Try (PAT) earns money for the school and the American Cancer Society.

“One of our goals at Rapides Regional Medical Center is to raise awareness of the need for cancer screenings,” said Charla H. Ducote, Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Business Development at Rapides Regional Medical Center. “Unfortunately, the need is great in our area and in Louisiana. Partnering with our parish’s high schools to raise awareness of the great work done by the American Cancer Society to defeat cancer, while also helping the individual schools is a true win-win situation.

“We look forward to the day when we really do kick cancer once and for all.”

The annual cancer death rate in Central Louisiana is 175.3 per 100,000, which is on par with the state’s death rate. However, the cancer death rate for the country is 155.6. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Cenla, followed by breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. All are higher than the national average.

Schools will earn $20 for every field goal made during the regular season and postseason, and $10 for every PAT following touchdowns. Each school will receive a minimum $500 with a corresponding donation made to the American Cancer Society.

Schools partnering with the Rapides Cancer Center are Alexandria Senior High, Bolton, Buckeye, Holy Savior Menard, Northwood, Peabody, Pineville and Tioga. The regular season begins Sept. 1 and concludes the first weekend in November, with the state high school football playoffs beginning the following weekend.

Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Facebook page will provide weekly updates. At the end of the season, RRMC will award the Golden Boot to the school that raised the most money for ACS.