Stetson Middle School Annual Hoops for Heart Fundraiser

Stetson Middle School Annual Hoops for Heart Fundraiser

Stetson Hoops for Heart participants jump for the ball  Stetson Hoops for Heart players battle for control of the ball  Hoops for Heart players drive for the net  


Students and staff at Stetson Middle School raised over $6500 for the American Heart Association (AHA) during the annual Hoops for Heart fundraiser. This year's donation is the highest to date and brings the total amount raised over the past 12 years to $60,261.25.

Hoops for Heart is designed to teach young adults about teamwork and the spirit of volunteerism.

"The fundraiser allows us to reinforce parts of our health and physical education curriculum with the goals of the American Heart Association," said Erin Listrani, Stetson physical education teacher, and Hoops for Heart coordinator. Disco Ballers vs. the Underdogs

"It's an amazing feeling to see our students support such a great cause while having fun and getting exercise. Many of students really go above and beyond to make this fundraiser so special, year after year."

Eighty-eight student teams, grades 6-8, entered the round-robin style tournament. The co-ed teams consisted of four players. Each student donated a minimum of $10 to participate.

Many students led fundraising efforts of their own leading up to the event which was held on May 18. "The Disco Ballers" held a bake sale with items donated by 8th-grader Ella Harrison, who owns her own cupcake business - Sprinkles & Sparkles. Her teammates Chris Canterino, Kurt Fails, Abby Gallo, Kate Lockhart, and Brienna Spano also provided baked goods for the sale. The raised an additional $201.00 for AHA.

Another team, "The Underdogs," (Maddie D’Ambro, Alexys McClain, Ally Black, Brendan Duffy, Nick Burdumy, and Justin Liu) raised an extra $170.00 for the AHA by collecting money from family and friends. The funds were matched by a corporate donation from Dine-Aglow Diablo. Listrani said many other students contributed donations from family members in honor of loved ones affected by heart disease.

In addition, students were able to purchase basketball hearts through Stetson's student council to show their support. Student Council donated the money they made to the fundraiser. Money was also raised through a staff raffle.

"Everyone at Stetson is very supportive of this annual event, especially our administrators Dr. Cognato, Mrs. Puchalla, and Mr. DeWitt," said Listrani. "We couldn't do it without the help of the Stetson PTO which provided money for student prizes and the DJ. The Stetson Unified Arts teachers are an integral part of the day, along with the 8th-graders who referee the 6th and 7th-grade tournaments. Rustin students also volunteer their time to referee with the help of Rustin Athletic Director Chris Lunardi. It really is a team effort!"

Dr. Cognato tosses t-shirts into the crowd  The man behind the minion takes a break!  The Dunkin' Dinos mascot hypes up the crowd