Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 21, 2014

GPS to host Hoops for Hope 2014

Jennifer Williams, varsity head coach at GPS, and a student hold up a Hoops for Hope t-shirt. - (Photo by David Laprad)

Each year, Hoops for Hope offers Chattanooga residents a chance to give to a good cause while enjoying some of the best high school basketball the city has to offer. This year, Girls Preparatory School (GPS) will host the event, scheduled to take place Saturday, Dec. 13 beginning at 10 a.m.

Hoops for Hope is organized by the MaryEllen Locher Foundation, which was established to provide college scholarships to high school seniors within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga who have had a family member stricken by breast cancer. Money is raised through individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and private grants.

“MaryEllen Locher helps to lift the financial and emotional burden faced by a growing number of children in our area who have lost a parent to breast cancer or are children of breast cancer survivors,” says Lynda Hood, Hoops for Hope committee member, executive director of the Chattanooga Bar Association, and a breast cancer survivor.

Jennifer Williams, varsity head coach at GPS, says breast cancer affects more women and their families than many people realize. “You might know several people it’s touched,” she says.

Hoops for Hope provides a way for people to give to a cause that benefits the young people in the Chattanooga community. “MaryEllen Locher is not a large national organization,” Williams says. “You’re giving money that will directly help someone in this area.”

Williams says Hoops for Hopes also raises awareness among the young people in the community. “Our kids understand the importance of an event like this, but until breast cancer touches someone close to you, you can’t appreciate how hard it is to go through, and how much we need to do on the front end to find a cure,” she says. “So we’re always pushing our kids to look outside of themselves at what’s happening.”

Six local girls received $1,000 Hoops for Hope scholarships following the 2013 event. Each year, names are submitted to the MaryEllen Locher Foundation, which reviews the applications and awards the scholarships.

Hoops for Hope will feature four games that count as one of the regular games for each participating team. Boyd-Buchanan and Red Bank will face off at 10 a.m., then GPS will host Notre Dame at 11:30. The only boys match of the day will take place at 1 p.m. between Signal Mountain and Tyner Academy. The girls teams from both schools will then close the event with a game beginning at 3 p.m.

In addition to basketball, the event will include cheerleading demonstrations, a silent auction, and the sale of a Hoops for Hope memory quilt. Concessions will be available as well.

Admission to Hoops for Hope costs $10.

“Hoops for Hope isn’t about winning or losing, but about giving to an import cause,” says Williams. “But you’re still going to see some great basketball.

T-shirts can be purchased in advance by writing a check to the MaryEllen Locher Foundation and delivering it to GPS in care of Williams. Those purchasing a t-shirt should specify the size and whether they want long or short sleeves. Long sleeve shirts cost $15, and short sleeve shirts cost $10. The deadline for purchasing a t-shirt is Tuesday, Nov. 25.

The MaryEllen Locher Foundation is also selling program ads. To purchase one, email the following information to jwilliams@gps.edu: the size of the ad ($200 for a full page; $100 for half a page; and $50 for a quarter of a page), and whether the ad should be in color or black and white. Ads can be submitted via Word document, PDF, or JPEG to Williams via email. The deadline for purchasing a program ad is Tuesday, Nov. 25.

“We greatly appreciate your donation to this worthy cause, which will directly benefit the children in our community,” Hood said. “These Founders Scholarships enable the recipients to not only pursue their college career, it also gives them hope.”