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WEST GOSHEN — Faculty members at Peirce Middle School showed their students that sometimes age does come before youth, and in this case, it was during a charity basketball game Wednesday.
The faculty pulled off a razor-thin win, 43-42, over the students in a spirited, five-quarter game called Alley-Oops for Autism.
“That is great, especially when you have the superintendent playing, too,” said Megan Hoopes Myers, the organizer of the event. “It’s really awesome to see his support for the school.”
Superintendent Jim Scanlon played parts of each quarter, chipping in six points for the faculty.
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“I’m exhausted,” he said. “I said to Coach Monahan, who’s idea was it to play a fifth quarter? But it was a lot of fun.”
The game was part of the school’s way to raise autism awareness, something they’ve been doing since a student broached the subject five years ago.
“We had a student who stated, ‘Why don’t we ever have a fundraiser for autism awareness?’” Hoopes Myers said. “Since then, we’ve been doing that, with the exception of the one year with the hurricane.”
The hurricane being Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when all money went to the Red Cross.
Though donating money for autism awareness isn’t new this year, the proceeds going to Dragonfly Forest was.
Dragonfly Forest has two programs — a year-long after-school program and a summer camp — it runs for children with autism and is based in Conshohocken.
“All money that’s raised is completely donated,” Hoopes Myers said. “The T-shirts were created by my student sponsors and then student council put forth the money to pay for the T-shirts, which is wonderful. Then we sold them, sold half-court shot tickets for $1 to win a pizza party with two friends, sold healthy snacks on behalf of the wellness policy and the tickets were each $3.”
When all was said and done, the game raised $958.
“That’s the way Peirce is,” Scanlon said. “The faculty is out here raising money beforehand and the kids are all here cheering. They like to see their teachers playing in a game like this.”
Though the eighth graders had youth on their side, the faculty was able to hold them off for most of the game, despite the students fighting back in the second half.
“I’ll tell you, those kids are in a lot better shape at least than I am,” Scanlon said.
The game was actually meant to happen in March before the spring sports season got underway, but due to a snow day, it had to be rescheduled until after the season was over.
Even with the delay of a couple months, the turnout was still great in the eyes of Hoopes Myers and as evidenced by the amount of money raised.
Though Hoopes Myers organized the event, she wasn’t alone in running it.
“I had nine student helpers and it was awesome,” she said.
Those nine included Sydney Campbell, Molly Camp, Lauren Young, Taylor Dale, Caroline Carey, Casey Kenney, Brooke Matonti, Annabelle Bernard and Addie Brown.
The four student-coaches for the faculty — Chris Roberts, Sam Martin, Colin Corrigan and Aditya Deshmukh — had a hand in getting their team together.
“I didn’t do any of the recruiting,” Hoopes Myers said. “The four student-coaches for the faculty were the ones recruiting. They did all the leg work.”
In the end, it’s safe to say the game was a rousing success and something the Wellness Action Team, which puts on the game, wants to continue to do for years to come.
“Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are playing against eighth graders and not to take the intensity level too high,” Hoopes Myers said. “It’s so much fun.”