IHSA schools shooting free throws to help military families, cancer patients
By Matt Nestor
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and its member schools are teaming up with The Charity Stripe for two fund-raising events that will take place Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Free Throws for Heroes and Free Throws for the Fight will both take place that day, with boys’ and girls’ basketball teams of all levels participating in the fund-raiser.
The events are sponsored by the Charity Stripe, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for American families in need. They focus on military families, families affected by natural disasters and those with debilitating illness.
Players will shoot 50 free throws each to raise money for one or both of the causes. Participants will ask for pledges for each free throw made.
Last season, in the first year of the event, 96 IHSA schools participated, helping raise $82,170 for Illinois military families. Funds are used for rehab equipment, bills, job training and family reunions, among other things.
“Last year’s event far exceeded our expectations, but there are still so many Illinois families who really need our help,” The Charity Stripe Executive Director Mitch Salzstein said. “We hope to have at least 500 Illinois schools participate this year and also encourage other Illinois basketball officials organizations to team up with us to help attain our 2010 goal of $250,000. I’ve had the distinct honor and privilege of talking to and meeting with many of the charitable recipients who were helped because of Free Throws For Heroes. They are so thankful and appreciative to all of those who have got involved.”
Several local schools are participating in the event this year, including Freeport, McHenry, Auburn, Byron, Sycamore and Oregon. IHSA Executive Director Beth Sauser said they are always looking for ways to get schools involved in helping raise money for good causes.
“Finding ways to get students involved with worthy causes like Free Throws For Heroes and Free Throws For The Fight directly aligns with the IHSA’s mission,” Sauser said. “The majority of the IHSA programs that were involved in Free Throws For Heroes a year ago were boys’ basketball teams, so we hope to see more girls’ teams get involved in 2010.”
For more information about Free Throws For Heroes or Free Throws For The Fight or to sign-up as a school, team, individual or sponsor, visit www.TheCharityStripe.net or contact Salzstein at (847) 715-9433. You can also find a list of all the participating schools to make donations.
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