Home Local Sports ‘Orange Night’ fundraiser planned for Coach Hadinger, family

‘Orange Night’ fundraiser planned for Coach Hadinger, family

All of Richmond's football players have an orange helmet sticker with "Had" on them to support the Raiders' athletic trainer battling leukemia. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — A few student organizations, with the help of a local business, hope to raise funds for a Richmond County family in need.

The Richmond Senior High School Senior Senate, Beta Club and Bleacher Creature student section will be holding a fundraiser at Friday’s football game to benefit Coach Mitch Hadinger.

Earlier this month, Hadinger was diagnosed with leukemia and has since completed chemotherapy. A beloved figure in the local sports scene, Hadinger has served as Richmond’s athletic trainer for the past two decades.

“Orange Night” was put together by the school to support Hadinger. Orange is the official color used to represent those battling leukemia and/or kidney cancer.

In addition to taking open donations throughout the game, fans can buy orange bracelets that read “courage, hope, we stand together.” 

Student-athletes at Richmond, along with coaches, teachers and community members have been wearing the bracelets for the past couple of weeks. 

The football team also had helmet stickers made by former all-state pitcher Greyson Way, who graduated from Richmond in 2019.

In the student section on Friday, the Bleacher Creatures are encouraging students and fans to wear orange in support of Hadinger’s fight.

Zane Searcy, the president of the Senior Senate, has played baseball throughout high school and seen first-hand the help Hadinger has given to numerous student-athletes from Richmond and afar.

He said the school’s decision to put on the fundraiser was an easy one, especially to benefit the man who personifies what it means to be a Richmond Raider.

“Coach Had is an integral part of Richmond Senior,” Searcy explained. “Supporting him during this tough time is a no-brainer. Senate and Richmond as a whole coming together to help Coach Had in any way possible can make a difference. 


“We all love Coach Had, and we want to see him better and working again,” he added. “I have full faith that the Raider community will help one of its own.”

Chris Turner, a financial representative at Modern Woodmen of America in Rockingham, and his wife Ashley have pledged to match as much as $3K through the company.

The Turner family explained that Modern Woodmen is a fraternal organization which provides its representatives with funds to go back to the community.

“We felt like Coach Had is an important part of the high school and the community,” Ashley Turner said. “His family always volunteers and we wanted to help them as much as we could with the expenses being incurred during this time.”

Neely Turner, a four-year tennis player at Richmond, is also a member of the Senior Senate for the class of 2024.

“Treatment has gone well,” Hadinger said in a text message. “Chemo finished last Sunday and I had a bone biopsy on Monday to determine the next course.

“I feel like I keep saying the same thing, but it is amazing and overwhelming all of the support the community has given and continues to give to my family.”

Hadinger’s wife Carmen and four of their six children still live at home — Carson, Hudson, Abi and Ian. The Hadingers have two adult children, Austin and Hayden, who live outside the family home.

Days after Hadinger’s diagnosis, his home church Roberdel Baptist Church established a Meal Train account. At the time of publication, a total of $6,870 had been raised for meals, groceries and other needs.

Richmond will play its third football game of the season on Friday when the fundraiser is held. The Raiders (0-2) will host non-conference Cardinal Gibbons (1-1) at 7:30 p.m. 

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.