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Students Helping Soldiers Stages Big Event At Upcoming Basketball Games

Communications Team

First it was "Touchdowns For Troops." Now, it’s "Hoops For Heroes."

“We like to recognize the commitment that people make to our country,” senior Peter Wall said.

Wall is the president of Students Helping Soldiers. And just like they did during football season in the fall, Wall and fellow members of the club are heading up a sports-themed event today and tomorrow at Stevenson to honor and help military soldiers and veterans.

Since it’s basketball season, Students Helping Soldiers will be conducting its annual “Hoops for Heroes” Military Appreciation charitable collection events in which fans can add supplies for soldiers and veterans to the bins at the Sportscenter as they head into tonight’s girls basketball game against Palatine (7 p.m.) and tomorrow’s boys basketball game against Libertyville (7 p.m.).

The club is asking for nonperishable food, toiletries, hygiene supplies, even cards and board games to create care packages for Cool Ministries Veterans Pantry in Waukegan.

“What I liked about (Students Helping Soliders) and the reason I joined three years ago is that the people in it were really committed to trying to make the world around them a better place through spreading that American pride,” Wall said. “A lot of students in our club actually have family members who are in the military. I don’t have that connection but my family does have a strong sense of patriotism and pride so that is what called me to Students Helping Soldiers.”

This is the 15th year for the “Hoops For Heroes” event at Stevenson. Longtime boys basketball coach Pat Ambrose has participated in many and says that the “Hoops For Heroes” game is always his favorite of the season. A student sings the national anthem, a color guard presents the American flag and often local military personnel are honored. This year, Students Helping Soldiers members are selling camouflage shirts as well.

“The moving tributes and the support the veterans get is amazing,” Ambrose said. “I love the decorations, the cause and how both teams can feel (the energy) before the game is inspiring for sure. It is top-notch and the credit goes to Students Helping Soldiers.”

Next up for Students Helping Soldiers is its "Pucks for PTSD" at an upcoming Stevenson hockey game.