By Rose Di Giovanni, Chris Risidore and Virginia Baird
On Thursday, April 18, St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School put inclusion into action at its fourth annual “Hoop it Up” event for Best Buddies.
Best Buddies is a national organization which aims to promote inclusion by creating opportunities for special needs students to build friendships through activities with their peers.
St. Thomas More has an active Best Buddies chapter and Hoop it Up is its signature event. Hundreds of students cheered on the Best Buddies and their peers at the Best Buddies basketball game. Many made signs and were very vocal in their positive encouragement. The atmosphere was electric with music, cheerleaders, commentators and audience participation. Afterwards, students were able to participate in a free-throw event with the opportunity to win great prizes. Due to the overwhelming response to the organizers’ request for prize donations, the group held its largest raffle so far in the history of the event. Overall, the event raised over $1500 to support trips and activities that the Best Buddies can participate in throughout the year.
The STM Hoop it Up event truly exemplifies the board’s “each belongs” philosophy and celebrates what we are all about as a Catholic community.