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Conference for a Cause
VICKSBURG, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Varsity basketball teams from twelve West Michigan high schools are coming together for a brand new event called Conference for a Cause.
The Wolverine Conference hopes to raise 25,000 dollars for the Wes Leonard Foundation through a series of basketball games Friday night.
The Foundation was put in place to raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest, after the death of a high school basketball player in 2011. Fennville’s Wes Leonard collapsed on the court and later died, after sinking a game-winning shot in overtime.
“As an athlete, you’re always worried about other athletes and that story was terrible,” says Vicksburg High School senior Colin McCaw. “You actually hear more and more about those types of situations coming up throughout the country.”
McCaw says he’s looking forward to the conference-wide event Friday night.
“In the past, Vicksburg Community Schools and Otsego Schools have teamed up to pick a different cause each year,” says Vicksburg Athletic Director Michael Roy. “This year, with a new conference and expanding to 12 schools, all the athletic directors wanted to make it a league-wide initiative.”
The Wolverine Conference is choosing to play for the Wes Leonard foundation, raising money through t-shirts, donations and silent auctions. In return, the Foundation is giving each school an automated external defibrillator machine.
Roy notes, “The Foundation’s goal is to put an AED machine with every team, on every school bus, in every classroom, every wing in a school because when someone goes down with sudden cardiac arrest, you only have a few minutes to save their life.”
Vicksburg senior Anna Warren adds, “Cardiac arrest is one of the biggest killers in the United States, so makes it a bigger deal for us. This makes us want to fight that much harder to raise money. And hopefully we win the game too!”
Anyone interested in helping the cause can make a minimum $12 donation and receive a “commemorative” short sleeve t-shirt or a $20 donation for a long sleeve t-shirt. All “Wolverine Conference for a Cause” merchandise worn to any of the listed games on February 15th will be granted free admission.
Wolverine Conference for a Cause kicks off Friday night with girls’ varsity teams playing at 6pm. Boys’ varsity games begin approximately 15 minutes after the conclusion of the girls’ game.
Games include: Otsego at Paw Paw, Allegan at Vicksburg, Plainwell at Comstock, Dowagiac at Edwardsburg, Three Rivers at South Haven and Coloma at Berrien Springs.