KELOWNA, BC - During reading break, with the UBC Okanagan basketball season just completed, players and coaches from the Heat men's and women's varsity basketball teams once again lent a hand to the students at Ellison Elementary School.
The contingent of basketball helpers from UBC Okanagan ran their annual basketball clinics at the Kelowna elementary on the mornings of February 14th and 15th.
Ellison Elementary has labelled this their "Toonie Hoops" Days, rotating through stations for over an hour in the morning approximately 93 students from grades 3-5 on Wednesday (Feb. 14th) and over 100 students from kindergarten to grade three on Thursday (Feb. 15th) all students are suggested to bring at least a Toonie to participate.
Once again the funds raised from the basketball clinic went to a charity chosen by the school Leadership group, "The Peacekeepers", who chose a local non-profit, Mamas for Mamas started by a local mother Shannon Christensen. (https://www.mamasformamas.ca/).
The school Leadership group chose this organization to support and along with the basketball clinic they also decided to do a "baby item" drive collecting items such as: diapers, soothers, formula, etc., as well as gently used strollers, high chairs etc.
As well, the Peacekeepers have several other fundraising initiatives for "Mamas for Mamas". These include a couple of lunch hour movie-days, a pizza sale.
This is the fourth year in a row the Heat basketball program to pitch in with the Ellison Peacekeepers group in 2017 the funds were raised for fresh water in Namibia, in 2016 over $400 were raised for the Giving Giggles campaign, and in 2015 the funds were raised to support cancer research.
The following community-based initiative is just a small part of what UBC Okanagan student athletes do in the community. If you have ideas about how the Heat could make a difference with your group or event please get in touch with the athletic department.
(Photos contributed by Ellison Elementary)