By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – Hoops for a Cause, which has raised more than $25,000 for breast cancer research the past five years, began when two St. Pius X teachers were diagnosed with the disease.
Event co-chairman Joel Eory said the news brought the school community together to see what they could do to show support.
The resulting fundraiser began with a bake sale, gift raffle, 50/50 sales and “pop-a-shot,” which rewards entrants with a 2-liter bottle of soda pop if they shoot a basket in a free-throw competition.
The annual proceeds are donated to the Josephine Ford Cancer Center, which has multiple area locations, and Women Celebrating Life – Downriver, 23839 Van Horn in Flat Rock.
“Those are the two operations which the educators reached out to for support,” Eory said. “And it’s been six years now. We keep doing it.”
Parent volunteer Fran Gonzales said no one in her family has been affected by breast cancer, but she and other parents help out to support the school community.
She said the parish, as well as other schools coming to play basketball games, are supportive. St. Joseph Catholic School in Trenton had just dropped off a monetary donation when one of the school teams came to play a basketball game.
Gonzales said the spirit of giving is appreciated.
“That’s what we need right now – people who care,” she said. “Everyone here cares. They bring in baked goods, they buy baked goods, they buy the stuff we are raffling off. Everyone likes to pitch in.”
Parent volunteer Jeanette Nemeth, who was working the bake sale, said it was nice to see people give and care in support of a fundraiser for research into a disease that has affected so many people in the community.
Nemeth said the bake sale was doing a brisk business, and some parents had already brought in a second batch of baked goods that day, with more promised for the second day of the fundraiser.
Bake sale chairwoman Janette Parish said support for the fundraiser was “overwhelming.”
“There is nothing like giving back,” she said. “As tired as I am, it’s for a purpose.”
Parish said she supports the fundraiser for the breast cancer survivors featured on the banner in the hall.
“It’s a great cause,” she said. “I love doing it.”