By Jill Radwin
This past Wednesday, April 13, faculty and students turned out to participate in the second annual Hoops for Help event at Viniar Center to support the Shinebarger family. Eight-year-old Kristen Shinebarger, daughter of Union’s Director of Student Support Services, Shelly Shinebarger, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in November of 2010. Kristen and her family watched the game from the Viniar “skybox.” Although it was a close match between the students and the faculty, in the end the student team prevailed.
Campus Action sponsored the event with the help of Habitat for Humanity, the Athletics Department, and the Inter-Fraternity Council.
Admission to the event was free to the community. Campus Action raised donations by selling wristbands for a minimum donation of $2. The bands say “Be Fearless,” which is what Kristen’s family tells her every time she goes in for treatment. Everyone who purchased a wristband had the opportunity to enter a raffle for a prize that is to be announced. Campus Action also raised money from marked donation bins located at the Starbucks Kiosk in the Wold Center, and from T-shirt sales, and contributions to the players. In the end the game raised over $3,300 all of which will go directly to the Shinebarger family to help pay for Kristen’s medical care.
The half-time show featured the Eliphalets a capella group, Bhangra dance team, One Love hip-hop group, and U-Break dance club.
“We streamlined a lot of things this year in hopes of an even bigger turnout,” said President of Campus Action Keerti Murari ‘11.
Last year, proceeds for the Hoops for Help event went to aid earthquake relief in Haiti and Chile. This year, Campus Action decided to raise awareness and support for an issue affecting our own campus community. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a form of cancer affecting bone or soft tissue and the second most common malignant bone tumor in children and adolescents. Kristen is now halfway through chemo treatments.
“We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the game and half time performances. Kristen, although shy, enjoyed the attention and was even serenaded by the Eliphalets. We want to thank Keerti who organized the entire event and the faculty, staff, and students who participated. The Union support helps keep us motivated and forging ahead as we battle Kristen’s cancer,” said Shelly.