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Shooting three pointers to make a change

The Asher Thomas League hosts a 24-hour basketball event to raise money for charity

Charity organizer Ted Levendoski (left) and his son, senior Asher Levendoski (right), pose next to a white board mentioning the total amount of three point shots made. It also mentions the most threes made in five minutes and twenty minutes. [Photo by Wendy Palmer Bouck]

Eight people. Two in the morning. The light above the rim shines bright on the court. It’s pitch black all around. Bodies are fatigued from staying up, but the coffee keeps the energy level high. The humidity, along with five straight minutes of shooting, has left the players drenched with sweat. Tents are set up beside the court for those who need a nap. “Time,” is shouted by the person running the clock. All of the rebounders run to the other side of the court where the next person waits their turn to shoot. On Aug. 18-19, 72 participants shot for twenty minutes, four rounds of five minutes each, to raise money for Holt Athletics and the Pop-up Pantry. The participants found sponsors who were able to pay either a flat fee or a fee for every shot the participant made. The event went for 24 hours straight, starting at noon on Saturday, Aug. 18 and ending at noon on Sunday, Aug.19. It was held at the home of Ted Levendoski, father of senior Asher Levendoski. The Levendoskis have a basketball court in their backyard which they have used for a basketball league the past six years. The league is named the Asher Thomas League, and it has been a notable part of the community in Holt. This league alone has brought together so many people. On top of uniting the community, the league also created a charity event. “I thought it would be nice to give back to the area and incorporate those same people to do so,” Levendoski explained. Most the players in the basketball league also participated in the charity event. However, there were others who didn’t play in the league, but shot in the charity event. “The original expectation was to raise between $4000 and $6000, but we ended up raising around $13,000...the money raised is going to two charities. One is a scholarship that we are creating to assist kids and help pay their Pay to Play fees, and the other is the Holt Pop-up Pantry that helps feed families in need” said Ted Levendoski.

The 72 participants spanned from freshmen to alumni and from children to parents. Most participants shot for the originally planned four rounds, but some participants shot for eight, or even twelve rounds. Of one them was senior Johannah Denning. “The money’s going to a good shows each person can make a change,” said Denning. She raised $900 and mentioned that it was exciting to raise that amount. “It was really tiring. My arms were really sore,” said junior Antonio Grimaldi. Since the event lasted 24 hours straight, some people had to pull an all-nighter on the court, while some took naps in tents set up beside the court. Grimaldi was one of the participants who shot at two in the morning. “I was really sore, but I was happy because we made so much money.” said Denning. She started her twelve rounds of shooting at two in the morning, for a total of an hour. Senior Asher Levendoski monitored the whole event and was the last to shoot, while his father was the first to kick off the charity event. The duo also shot for more than four rounds. “It was tiring because it was 24 hours, but we got through it. After, it was exciting to count how much money we made” said Asher Levendoski. The event was run in coordination with the Holt Community Foundation. My three point event is just one of many events run by the Holt Community Foundation that helps our area in many ways,” Ted Levendoski added. The success of the basketball league carried into the charity event, which raised questions on whether the event will be annual. “With the huge success of this event, the Foundation has asked for us to try to run it annually. Coach Zwick, the varsity boys basketball coach, has said that he will assist in the future and get the Holt basketball programs involved. With this help, who knows how big or successful it might get,” added Levendoski. Added Asher, “If we were to do it annually, one thing we will change is to get more help...we wanted to give back to the community and help families in need and help kids pay for sports.”

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