Hoops for Healing
Hoops for Healing, the annual fundraiser basketball tournament begins on November 19. Hoops for Healing was originally started in 2001 by Doug Smith then the Athletic Director at Woodstock HS and Tom Gillhouse, the Athletic Director at Belvidere HS. Their main purpose was to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
Doug Smith then brought this idea when he moved to Naperville North and teamed up with Craig Watson the Athletic Director at Oswego to do the same thing in 2005. In their first year the tournament raised over $6,000 for cancer research at Edward Cancer Center in Naperville. They expanded the tournament by including not only the Varsity but a sophomore tournament as well. Funds raised from the Hoops for Healing tournament hosted by Naperville-North and Oswego go now to support Camp Hope – Year 13. To date this tournament has raised over $275,000. Both tournaments have raised over $375,000 for cancer in one way or another.
Camp Hope is a unique support program at the Edward Cancer Center. It helps kids who have a parent or grandparent undergoing cancer treatment to get to know other children who are undergoing similar experiences. Better still, it gives them a chance to be kids with other kids in the midst of the difficulties going on at home.
Yearly, Edward Cancer Center brings in cancer survivors to speak to the teams about their personal fight with cancer and what a tournament like this means to them and others going through the same battle. All teams wear the same shooting shirts and coaches wear the Hoops for Healing pin to show the main purpose of this tournament is raising funds to fight cancer. This has turned out to be a great community service project for our athletes to be able to use their athletic abilities to fight this dreadful disease.
All area residents are encouraged to support local teams in the tournament, and together support Camp Hope. For more information on the schedule, sponsors and more, visit www.hoops4healing.org.