By Frank Lewis
The New Boston community has rallied behind a nine-year old girl suffering a serious disease. Kiara Euton was diagnosed with the sporadic type of burkitts lymphoma which affects the organs. She is currently in Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Now New Boston Basketball League President and Village Administrator Steve Hamilton says a basketball tournament lasting all weekend, continues tonight, featuring third to sixth grade boys and girls, with all proceeds to go to Kiara’s family.
“They were pretty much getting ready for baseball and softball,” Hamilton said. “But once we told them it was about Kiara, they said, ‘we’ll be there.’”
It is a four-day event.
“The tournament started Thursday night,” Hamilton said. “Usually, when teams go to these tournaments, it cost $100-$150, but we’re only charging $50 a team. Between myself, Eric Voiers and Adam Cox, we’re putting this tournament together. We have anywhere from 12-16 teams right now playing in it. Every bit of the money will be donated to Kiara and her family for staying at the hospital, travel expenses, things like that.”
In addition to people purchasing tickets to the games, donation buckets will be passed around as well.
“We try to do something every year to help out something,” Hamilton said. “And we usually do it for the Rocky Dunkin Foundation. But when we found out about this Eric called Rocky Senior, and told him what we were going to do, and Rocky Senior completely agreed with it, and said at least it is going to a good cause; and Rocky is still living through this little girl too.”
Rocky Dunkin, Jr., a firefighter, died at the scene of a crash to which he was responding.
“People just don’t know how blessed they are,” Hamilton said. “Whenever you’ve got children that are healthy and in one day it can all change.”
Hamilton, who is also on the Autism Governing Board, said that is the reason he also has the New Boston Challenger League that allows disabled children to play basketball, some in wheelchairs. Hamilton took the time to thank the New Boston School Board, the administration and the athletic department for allowing them to hold the tournament at the New Boston gym.
The tournament continues on Friday 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
“Even if you just want to stop by and make a donation for her, you can do so, even if you don’t want to stay and watch the game,” Hamilton said. “If you just want to stop and give us a donation for Kiara, that’s great. Whatever we can do as a community, here in New Boston to help out a student who goes here, or a student who goes anywhere, we want to do it.”
Hamilton said there is something everyone needs to keep in mind.
“There are miracles,” Hamilton said. “There was a little girl up at Symmes Valley that is cancer-free now, and she’s a freshman or sophomore. The whole Symmes Valley community got behind that kid, and we took her in like one of our own. So it really doesn’t matter where the child is from, I just really think this community needs to pull together for all these children, at least for their parents because their parents are going through so much.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.