KEY CLUB'S "ALLEY OOPS FOR AUTISM” TOURNAMENT GENERATES GREAT SUPPORT
By Tristan Vitale
The North Shore Key Club held its first ever “Alley Oops for Autism” tournament, a 3 on 3 basketball tournament at the high school recently, to raise money and awareness for autism.
Although the tournament itself only lasted 2 hours, the Key Club’s efforts were a much longer process. For weeks leading up to the event, the club members handed out informational flyers with key facts about autism to raise awareness. Also, before the tournament began, the club held a basketball game for the North Shore Life Skills Department which works with children with autism within the school district.
The Key Club had been working with students in the program throughout the fall, holding training sessions in preparation, and last week they finally got to play the actual game. The game was held in a professional fashion on a full court, and was very exciting. Every player scored and after two tiring halves, the game ended in a tie and all participants received trophies. For children who do not usually have the opportunity to play basketball competitively, the event could not have been more special.
The game was followed by a tournament open to all high school students who were able to assemble a team. 70 students participated, and even more turned out to cheer them on and support the cause with donations. The team of Ryland Frost, Billy Frahlich, and Michael Frahlich took first place, but the big winners were all the participants and the cause they supported. In just the two hours that the tournament took place, the Key Club raised nearly $1600, all of which will be donated to Autism Speaks and the Life Skills Department.
In addition, all members of the Key Club ordered project shirts for the event from Spectrum Designs, a company that “employs and empowers” people with autism by giving them jobs.
The project was directed by Key Club President Elias Mastakouris but involved the entire club and many volunteers who came to help organize the event. It was a fantastic event in every way, and a fun and effective way to help support a great cause.
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