FLITE organizes Harlem Wizards game
By Brittany Roker, Community Relations Editor
Loud sounds of laughter and singing echoed throughout the large gym at Conestoga on March 23. There, families in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District rallied to watch the Harlem Wizards play T/E faculty and Conestoga students in a basketball game.
The Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown (FLITE) organized the fundraising event. FLITE, according to its chair Paige Skelly, is “the non-profit education foundation [of the T/E community.] It supports the T/E schools and what we do is we fund programs to help all students succeed academically, especially those students who might need to overcome some financial or environmental obstacles. We help kids from preschool thru 12th grade with a variety of programs.”
Some of these programs include giving scholarships to students who can’t afford to go to preschool and running after-school homwework clubs for the elementary and middle schools.
Skelly, who sets the priorities and helps manage FLITE’s activities and is also the head of FLITE’s executive committee, said the idea of the event was to educate people about the organization.
“The purpose of the game was to raise community awareness about FLITE and to make sure that everyone in our school disctrict knows what FLITE is,” Skelly said.
Representing Conestoga were seniors Tracy Cook and Jared Seltzer, who was invited to be a part of the basketball team playing against the Wizards. For Seltzer, participating was an honor and a memorable occasion.
“It was a great experience and it was for a good cause,” Seltzer said. “It was really fun playing against them and it was a once in life-time opportunity.”
Junior Catherine Lanza, who is a member of ‘Stoga’s FLITE club, was pleased with the event’s turnout.
“I think it went really well,” Lanza said. “A lot of people came and it seemed like everyone had a really great time. All of the kids were really involved and all of the Wizards players had a good time with the kids and made them feel involved with the game.”
Skelly said she was thankful for the support of the T/E community as well as the Harlem Wizards, Conestoga’s FLITE Club and advisor Sheryl Roche, and school principals and district administrators. Skelly also appreciated the generosity of those who sponsored the game, including the McDonald and Niggeman families, Mainlineneighbors.com, Anchors Aweigh, Nova Care Rehabilitation and PNC Bank, and she said that their help allowed the event to be a success.
“I just want to thank the entire community for supporting FLITE and for buying our tickets,” Skelly said. “That was great. I want to thank all of the teachers and the staff members who played in the game because they really drummed up the enthuisiasm for the students to come and so they were a big part of it and I want to thank all of the volunteers who helped make it a success for FLITE. We had a whole team of people that volunteered a lot of time to organize it and make it happen and I also want to thank some sponsors–we had several members of our community that sponsored events that night.”
Lanza was one of many volunteers who wandered the sidelines selling hats, basketballs and handing out brochures. She also worked in the concession stand and sold food and beverages. Lanza said she enjoyed the game and being active in the event.
“I had a great time,” Lanza said. “Everyone seemed to be having so much fun and everyone was so involved that is was really just a great community event.”
Skelly said FLITE members were unaware that the event would be such a success and were surprised when they sold out several weeks before the event. Skelly added that due to the positive turnout, FLITE is considering holding an event like this in the future.
“I think we will do it again,” Skelly said. “We may do it again next year but those decisions haven’t really been finalized. We know there were a lot of people who wanted to come and meant to come and couldn’t come because we did sell out so early. So ,that makes us want to do it again next year so that everyone will have a chance to see the Wizards play the great T/E staff that came out and played for T/E.”
Brittany Roker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.