PDT Sports Editor
Area schools like New Boston, Green, Northwest, Oak Hill and Ironton have all taken part in Foundation Games the last couple of weeks and tonight it’s Notre Dame and Wheelersburg’s turn to make a difference.
Foundation Games benefit many local and national charities and today’s basketball game between Notre Dame and Wheelersburg will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to, “enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy,” according to the foundation’s website.
The charity game has been a long time in the making.
“It’s just been a brain trust between us (Wheelersburg) and Notre Dame,” Wheelersburg boys basketball coach Tom Barrick said. “We got together last spring and decided to do this.”
Notre Dame boys basketball coach Matt Mader said the students and community surrounding Notre Dame embraced the opportunity to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“It’s a great way for both of our communities to come together for kids in need and it’s been a great experience for our students,” Mader said. “Our Key Club has been raising funds by selling t-shirts and other things in preparation for the game.”
Barrick said multiple activities have gone on in preparation for the event, which will begin at 6 p.m. today at Wheelersburg when the junior varsity squads from both schools tip off.
At Wheelersburg, students have been fundraising through the sponsorship of paper basketballs that now cover the cafeteria in the K-8 building.
“Every kid in the K-8 building had their name posted as Make-A-Wish supporters,” Barrick said. “They raised more than $2,000.”
Barrick said the Schmidt Family Restaurant Group stepped up and paid for the cost of officials, Foundation Game fees and all other expenses to ensure all the money raised by the Notre Dame and Wheelersburg communities would go to Make-A-Wish.
In addition to covering the costs, a raffle, courtesy of Schmidt Family Restaurant Group, will be held for a half court shot to win free food from one of the sponsoring restaurants for an entire year.
On top of raising money for a worthy cause, fans that attend will enjoy a contest with a regular season feel.
“It will be a real game like atmosphere I’m sure, ” Mader said. “We plan on having a good crowd there and Wheelersburg will too. It should be a lot of fun.”
Barrick said he has been impressed by the outpouring of support in the community.
“The intent of the project is to emphasize charitable activities for the kids,” he said. “They are the next generation of leaders and charitable work is a big part of life. It’s nice that we have had a chance to do this through the game of basketball and to see the community get behind it.”
Tonight’s visiting team embraced the intent of the Foundation game.
“It’s been great and coach Barrick was very gracious in asking us to be a part of it,” Mader said.
The event will being when the junior varsity squads of Notre Dame and Wheelersburg tip off in the Wheelersburg gym at 6 p.m. tonight. The varsity game will follow with the half court shot for free food to be held at half time. Other activities will also take place during the game.
Admission is $5 and all money raised will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 298, or firstname.lastname@example.org.