Like the sliver of sunshine that finds the narrowest break in the storm clouds, Drew Poet was an eternal optimist — long before he was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a difficult-to-detect and often-deadly cancer, and even during the days leading up to his way-too-soon death on April 20, 2019, at the age of 17.
He was the kid who, on the hottest sun-baked afternoon of late summer, would pull off his Plymouth-Canton Steelers football helmet during practice breaks and energize his teammates with a life-is-beautiful smile.
He was the young man who yearned to attend the University of Michigan someday, churning out straight A’s in high school advanced-placement classes that propelled his grade-point average to a Wolverine-worthy 4.7 (on a 4.0 scale).
Drew loved life
He was an accomplished multi-sport athlete — maybe not the biggest stud on the baseball field, basketball court or gridiron, but pound-for-pound, among the toughest and most effective.
And Drew is now — four years after his death — the namesake of the Drew Poet Foundation, the goal of which is to raise awareness of the often-misdiagnosed pediatric cancer that took his life.
“We will seek out and work with other foundations through clinical trials to help strengthen research opportunities specifically targeting Ewing sarcoma,” his family shared on the foundation’s website.
In addition to making a tax-deductible donation to the foundation, there are two upcoming events you can participate in that will benefit the foundation tremendously:
- The foundation’s second annual Michigan Chapter Golf Outing at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center is set for Sunday, June 25. Continental breakfast and registration begins at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 9 a.m.. Registration for golf, sponsorships and dinner only is now open at: www.eventregisterpro.com/event/drewpoetfoundationmigolfouting;
- A dinner at Rose’s Restaurant in Canton on Thursday, June 22. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner available from 6-8 p.m. The evening will include a special menu and a cash bar. The cost is $50 per person, with proceeds going to the Drew Poet Foundation. Please RSVP to Harry Walkley at 734-634-1243.
“We are forever grateful for everyone’s continued support of the Drew Poet Foundation and our mission of advancing research and finding a cure for Ewing’s sarcoma,” the Poet family shared. “We hope to see you at one of these events!”
Drew’s legacy will continue to inspire current and future members of the Plymouth-Canton Steelers youth football and cheerleading organization, which retired his No. 34 in 2019.
Printed on a flag, Drew’s “34” has been raised over the downtown Plymouth field the Steelers call home before every game since the number-retirement ceremony.