• Jan. 11, 2024

    Holiday Hoops supports Make-A-Wish

    First Place TeamThe Upper St. Clair High School Make-A-Wish Club raised more than $1,000 through its 11th annual Holiday Hoops basketball tournament on Dec. 22, 2023. The first-place team – Steph’s Meatballs – included seniors Marco Carone, Marshall Howe, Josh Ioli, Luke Ralyea and Grahm Tauch.

    Held annually on the final day before winter break begins, students and staff pay $10 per person to participate, with a minimum of four players per team. This year’s event, led by senior Theeya Chen, featured 25 teams in a single bracket. 

    “The Holiday Hoops event is important to build meaningful student connections with Make-A-Wish and its mission,” Theeya said. “The Holiday Hoops even gives students a fun event to compete in the day before break, to let them relax after a busy first semester, and a great way to try and raise money for a wish.”

    Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. To qualify for a wish, a child must be between 2 ½ and 18 years old at the time of referral and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.

    The Make-A-Wish Club plans to continue its fundraising efforts with the hopes of funding a child’s complete wish.

    “Holiday Hoops is our biggest event, but the Make-A-Wish Club is looking into and working on planning some more fundraisers this year,” Theeya said. “Our fundraising goal is to try and completely pay off a full wish, which numbers can range a lot but average around $5,000 per wish.”

    The second-place team included junior Charlie Bywalski, Jacobo Eccheverria, Ari Plutko, Nate Stohl. Finishing third was the team of Andrew Chakos, Van Hellman, Ryan Hines, Shameer Nichols and Drew Sanderson.

    Several Upper St. Clair High School students helped to coordinate the event, including Anya Chen, Emma Hollingsworth, Helly Makadia, Taylor Gibbs and Zahra Khan. In addition, physical education teachers Frank Cremonese, Betsy Hess and Tim Robbins assisted throughout the tournament. Dawn Mostowy, biology teacher, serves of the faculty sponsor.

    “Theeya is a proactive, responsible and caring student who essentially led the planning of this whole event,” Mrs. Mostowy said. “She is a natural leader and sets a superior example for the rest of the student body.  She did a great job pulling off yet another successful Holiday Hoops event!”

    To help the Make-A-Wish Club reach its fundraising goal, contact Mrs. Mostowy at dmostowy@uscsd.k12.pa.us.