By Scott Halasz
BEAVERCREEK — The Beavercreek girls and boys basketball teams are recording a big assist this holiday season through its Adopt A Family Program.
Started three years ago as just a girls venture, the boys varsity joined last year and both teams worked to make sure three less-fortunate Beavercreek families have an enjoyable holiday season.
Through in-game raffles, meet the team night and monetary donations from parents and students, the teams secured enough money to shop for the families — buying both “want” and “need” items — as a way of giving back to the city that has historically supported its hoops teams like few others.
“I know this community has done so much for me personally and I think myself and my teammates really want everyone to have the same opportunities that we have and also have a great Christmas,” junior Lexi Moore said.
The teams went to a local store together and spent about $1,100 on toys, clothes, diapers and whatever else was needed by the three families.
“It’s for a good cause and it’s good for team bonding,” said junior Jon Alessandro. “Growing up in Beavercreek, we were pretty (fortunate). If we can give back it feels nice.”
It started a few years ago when reserve coach Aric Seilhamer jumped on an idea his wife, Sarah, used in her high school class at Beavercreek.
“(She) would have her students go out and they would adopt a family and raise money to give them a Christmas,” Seilhamer said. “A couple years ago I was talking to (head coach) Ed (Zink) and (assistant coach) Pame (Ferguson) and trying to figure out a way to teach our kids a lesson in being fortunate in what they have and trying to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Seilhamer went through Greene County Family Services the first two years but kept it in house this year.
“I think their parents or their guardians had called in to ask for assistance,” Seilhamer said.
For the kids, it will be a surprise. A pleasant surprise that they will not likely forget anytime soon.
“It made me feel like I’m doing something that’s big,” senior Cedric Baldwin said. “For the families, it might be bigger than we think it is.”
So far the team has raised about $500. The difference was covered by the team’s bank account and the rest, Seilhamer said, will hopefully be raised through continued support of the raffles.
“The ultimate goal, hopefully our kids can be proud of what they did, be proud and be thankful,” Seilhamer said.
That’s exactly how it worked.
“It really warms my heart helping needy families every year,” junior Carmen Williams said. “In addition, it always feels nice making sure no family is left out during Christmas time. Every year around Christmas I am surrounded by awesome family and friends and I think it is super important that every family feels like they have a home in Beavercreek.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.