Hewlett's Hoops for Hope game returns after two-year pandemic absence
The crowd at Hewlett for its home boys basketball game against Carey was bigger than usual this season. It wasn’t just because the Bulldogs are in the hunt for a postseason berth. It was also the return of the Hoops for Hope Game after a two-year absence due to coronavirus protocols.
Hewlett had been playing a game annually to raise money and awareness for SIBSPlace, which hosts a free program for children aged 5-17 who are coping with a family member that has a serious medical illness. The Jan. 27 game – a 62-44 Nassau A-III win for Hewlett – was the 18th installment of the event.
Prior to tip-off, Bulldogs coach Bill Dubin, SIBSPlace executive director Joanna Formont and Peninsula Kiwanis Club president Michael Gliner took part in a presentation of a $2,000 check from the Kiwanis. Formont said that as of Tuesday, the Hewlett basketball program had helped raise $15,600 this school year. Bethpage High also held a Hoops for Hope event in December.
“That Hewlett does this to give back to the community says a lot,” Formont said. “We need these type of community fundraisers to adequately serve the children. Some of the Hewlett students volunteer for us and we got a number of people to sign up to volunteer at the basketball game.”
“A lot of the people in our community and around our program really have their hearts in the right place,” Dubin said.
Dubin said that as the effort has grown, the goal each year has become to raise at least $15,000 annually for Survivorship in Brothers and Sisters (SIBS).
Formont explained that children with a seriously ill family member come to SIBSPlace for a “respite from their situation.” They have activities with other youngsters coping with similar circumstances and different kinds of therapies are offered. She said that for the younger children “it helps normalize talking about illness and death.”
Dubin said Hewlett basketball raises money through donations and advertising in a journal and on t-shirts. Many in attendance at the game donned those t-shirts.
“It was great to see so many people in the stands wearing the shirts,” Formont said, “and we appreciate what they’ve done.”