The idea for the charity basketball tournament began with the ND SHADES Club. Members wanted to work together with other clubs and organizations within Notre Dame towards a common goal. Last year, all proceeds from the tournament went to the Hurricane Relief Fund to aid those in Puerto Rico and Dominica who had been impacted by Hurricane Maria. This year, the proceeds from the event will go directly to the New Hope Hospital in Haiti. This hospital serves more than 250,000 people who live in poverty.
Senior Aisha Louis-Jean is Haitian-American and shared her thoughts on this year’s tournament. “I am more than thrilled that we are doing this fundraiser to raise money for a beautiful hospital. In Haiti there are not many hospitals available, especially in the more densely populated areas of the country. People have to find some sort of transportation to get health care services which is a great hassle especially when you are in a state of emergency.”
“It makes me feel good to have so many people who want to help those in Haiti,” said Louis-Jean. “Even though this is only one hospital, I hope in the future more can grow to help the people of my country.”
Eva Pierrot ‘19 is a member of the SHADES Club and also has a connection to Haiti. “Growing up, I always heard my friends or others who took vacations to Haiti and they would come home talking about how beautiful and lavish the country was. I was always happy they had such a great time, but in the back of my mind I knew that they stayed in a resort that was in a "staged" area. These areas have electricity, colorful houses and make the country look economically stable. It distracts people from the real problem occurring in Haiti - high poverty rates and serious health issues.”
Once Eva heard that this year’s tournament would be dedicated to the hospital in Haiti, she was ecstatic. “I knew this would help address the poverty and health problems in the country,” said Pierrot. “This just makes me more proud to be a Notre Dame student.”
Friend of ND, DJ Carlos Hendricks, returned for his second year to provide music for the tournament. He expressed his deep gratitude to the students and faculty for their efforts to make a difference in Haiti.
In addition to monetary donations, the SHADES Club collected toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, batteries and other necessities that patients in the hospital might need.
Mrs. Eileen Marx, faculty member and one of the SHADES Club moderators said, “We discovered how wonderful people are to share their talents and time with everyone. Any student, teacher or staff member we asked responded with such support and enthusiasm for the cause, and that’s what ND is all about.”
Cortaz Williams ’20, SHADES Club member and running back on the Notre Dame Varsity Football team, designed and drew the logo for the event, which was printed on t-shirts given to each participant. For the second year, AnnMarie Crivelli ’80, owner of Destination Athlete®, donated 500 t-shirts for the tournament.
Forty-six teams joined together to participate in the exciting tournament. Each team chose a level of play – competitive, intermediate and “just for fun.”Team ‘Lil Babies won the intermediate bracket and team Annaheim Cheese won the competitive bracket. Team The LebronTourage won for most creative name.
In addition to the supplies collected, a total of $3,775 dollars was raised to be donated to the New Hope Hospital.
Many thanks to members of the SHADES Club, Celebrate Life Club, Mrs. Eileen Marx, Mrs. Eileen Hart, Mrs. Peggy Wroblewski, Ms. Jacqueline Coppola ’09, Mrs. Rose Stevenson ’75, Mrs. Isabel Berko, Mrs. Ann DeMille and all of the students, faculty and staff who worked tirelessly to make this event successful and fun for everyone.
“Having fun while we help others is what Notre Dame does best,” concluded Mrs. Marx