Kings Island Kicks Cancer campaign raises $186K

Kings Island announced Sunday that it has raised $186,000 through its inaugural Kings Island Kicks Cancer campaign, which began July 25.

The park on Sunday presented checks to representatives from Pink Ribbon Girls, The Dragonfly Foundation and Melanoma Know More; each organization received $62,000 from the money raised, according to Don Helbig, the amusement park's public relations manager.

Park visitors contributed to the campaign by buying a soccer ball for $5 and kicking it into the park fountain for a chance to win a 2015 Honda Fit.

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The winner of the vehicle was Tonya Drake of Covington, Ky., whose soccer ball was randomly selected from the 21,854 balls in the fountain on International Street inside the park.

"The Dragonfly Foundation, Melanoma Know More and Pink Ribbon Girls have been outstanding to work with," Helbig told our media partner WCPO 9 On Your Side. "Without the help and support that we've received from each organization, the campaign would not have been as successful."

The park brought attention to its campaign and the nonprofit organizations benefiting through attention-grabbing events.

Aug. 1: Park visitors set a Guinness World Record when 213 people had their heads shaved simultaneously.

Aug. 9: 2,148 park guests set a Guiness record for the most people to simultaneously apply sunscreen to raise awareness about cancer, and specifically melanoma. The group Melanoma Know More strives to reduce the impact of cancer through awareness, education, support of medical research and assistance to those affected, according to its website.

Aug. 18: A group of 1,821 people set a Guinness World Record for the most people applying lipstick at the same time to raise awareness for the Pink Ribbon Girls, an organization that provides support for young women and their families as they deal with breast cancer.

The third nonprofit group, The Dragonfly Foundation, provides support to kids and young adults and their families enduring cancer and blood diseases from diagnosis until they are five years disease-free.