Hudsonville, Caledonia to play 'Never Forgotten' game for charity
UPDATE: The game will now take place on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY: School administrators across West Michigan are keeping a close eye on the weather. Kids from one class at Hudsonville High School are too.
They're hoping the Eagles boys and girls basketball teams will play Caledonia as scheduled on Friday, Feb. 9 because of how hard they've worked on the 'pink out' planned for that game.
The event benefits two great organizations:
- The Wes Leonard Heart Team: Wes Leonard was a Fennville High School basketball player who collapsed after making a game winning shot. He passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition. The Wes Leonard Heart Foundation works to make sure all schools have automated electronic defibrillators, otherwise known as AEDs, and that staff members are trained to handle emergencies.
- Shields of Hope: The group is run by local first responders who spread hope, love and encouragement to people in West Michigan affected by cancer. Shields of Hope lets those patients and their families know they're not fighting alone. This cause is especially important to the girls team. The mother of their coach, Casey Glass, is battling cancer.
Organized by Jennifer Lanphear's sports marketing class, the Never Forgotten game at Hudsonville will feature a number of opportunities for people to donate to those organizations.
"We have items to be raffled off and auctioned off to raise money for the charities," said Hudsonville junior Olivia Holbrook.
"There's going to be a 90-second blitz where we'll have buckets passed around to raise as much money as we can in those 90 seconds. There will be a halftime free throw shot. There's going to be a great environment and it will be decorated perfectly."
The players will be wearing shirts during warm-ups that say "Never Forgotten" on the front. Each player also picked someone to play for and they'll be wearing those names on the back of their shirts.
Game organizers say they can't wait to see the fruits of their labor, and they're encouraging everyone to come out and wear their pink.
"It's really humbling because we get to put on this event that we've been working really hard for and we get to see people's lives change through it," said senior Ben Sabin.
The girls game is expected to begin at 6 p.m. Athletic Director Kevin Wolma anticipates by around noon Friday Hudsonville and Caledonia will decide whether this game will go on as scheduled.
If weather does postpone the game, the "Never Forgotten" event will happen on whatever date the two schools decide to make the game up. The class is also organizing a charity baseball game coming up in the spring.
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