Vasquez High School fights against cancer with charity Powderpuff football game

Vasquez High School cheer team and school singing group, " The Heard", stand next to the school's new bronze plaque as they sing the schools Alma Mater to close the official ceremony at the Vasquez High School dedication event in Acton on Saturday. /Dan Watson
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Vazquez High School students will be fighting back against brain cancer with their 6th annual Powderpuff football game benefitting Jack’s Angels on Thursday, May 17.

Jack’s Angels is a local charity dedicated to spreading awareness and funding research pertaining to diffuse intrinsic pontine gliona, or DIPG, a deadly pediatric brain cancer, according to a news release from Jack’s Angels.

The annual Powderpuff Game started in 2013 when then Seniors Oren Dye and Brandi Beltrane and Principal Ty Devoe of Vasquez High School, were inspired to create an event to benefit Jack’s Angels.

In 2012 Jack Demeter died from the effects of DIPG at three years old. His mother Janet found Jack’s Angels to start something that would help lead to solutions to the disease, which has seen no progress in treatment or terminal prognosis in over 50 years of clinical observation, according to the news release.

The annual Powderpuff game, which started with student and faculty coach teams of girl players and a full cheer squad of boys with a flair for humor, has provided entertainment and civic engagement for the kids in the community.

“Those girls are bad-ass; I wouldn’t want to play them,” remarked JV football player at the school while watching the first game, with similar echoes in the years following, noticed Janet Demeter. “Each year the game has been exciting–I hope this year that we’re able to bring out more people to enjoy it! Many don’t realize that our community has been, in part, essential to the beginnings of the DIPG Awareness Movement, which is a powerful asset to childhood cancer awareness in our country today.”

In 2014 California passed the first DIPG awareness resolution and in 2017 congressman Steve Knight,R-Palmdale, introduced the first national DIPG awareness resolution, H.R. 69 that formally makes May 17 DIPG Awareness Day.

The Powederpuff game this year will take place on the first nationally celebrated DIPG Awareness Day.

The game opens at 6 p.m., with kick-off happening at 6:30 p.m. at Jorgensen Field located at 33630 Red Rover Mine rd in Acton. For more information about Jack’s Angels, or H.Res.69, visit www.jacksangels.org, and www.hres69.org.

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