Although only in its second year at J.L. Crowe, Hoops for Hearts organizers have expanded the scope of the Thursday fundraiser to make it even more inclusive.
“Originally, Hoops for Hearts is a day for the entire school to get outside to participate and play basketball,” said Crowe student media rep Mitch McLean. “This year we’re going to do volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and skipping as well, just because some people don’t like playing basketball so by doing this it would help get more people participating.”
Indeed, Terry Jones’ leadership class is looking to get every one of the 800 students signed up for the event in hopes of raising close to its goal of almost $8,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“It creates a day that is just amazing,” said Jones. “You know you have everybody in the school outside playing for three-and-a-half hours, it’s something.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Hoops for Hearts is a 3-on-3 in-school fundraising basketball program.
In its first incarnation last year, over 400 students and teachers signed up as players and volunteers, with a participant entry fee of $10 going to the Foundation. It was an overwhelming success, creating an electric atmosphere for participants and volunteers and raising close to $4,500.
This year Rossland Secondary Students are also invited to participate in the event that include boys, girls, and mixed recreational and competitive divisions, and of course a prize for best costume.
“It lends for a great day,” says Jones. “Really that’s what education is all about is creating those memorable days for our students.”
The day turned out to be one of the best days of the year, says McLean, and despite the challenges of organizing such a massive event, the students have been enthusiastic, creative, and industrious.
“There’s always a few things that we’re trying, it’s just the nature of being in a building with 800 people, everybody is doing different things, and it’s hard to get everyone on the same page, but that’s the challenge that we face, so that’s good and we’ll try to do it better next year,” said Jones.
The leadership class still has a lot of work to do to prepare for the fundraiser, including collecting sign-up sheets and money, organizing various brackets for the many different events, designating volunteers, setting up booths and barbecues, and trying to round up close to 40 basketball nets for the event.
“Since there’s so many different activities this year it’s kind of hard to organize them all . . . so this year there’s a lot of different sub-divisions of everything so it is a lot more work,” says McLean.
Nevertheless, Grade 12 Hoops organizer Hannah Flux says, “It’s totally worth it. It’s a really fun day, even those who didn’t like basketball, even if your just volunteering it’s a fun environment and everyone has a good time.”
Tip off for Hoops for Hearts goes Thursday at 10:20 a.m. with the last game going at 2:20 p.m.
Residents are invited to drop by and watch, and a booth will be set up for Heart and Stroke Foundation donations.