Hoops for Heart hits $5,500 mark

The SHSU department of health and kinesiology raised $5,500 for the American Heart Association during the “Hoops for Heart” basketball tournament. The tournament, designed to raise money for research and tools for cardiologists, was held on Feb. 21 and 22.

During the charity tournament, there were a total of 22 teams, separated into three divisions. The men’s division was composed of 10 teams, and the women’s and co-rec divisions were each composed of six teams

Each division played half of their tournament on Feb. 21. On Feb. 22, the women played the other half of their game during the halftime segment of the women’s basketball game against Stephen F. Austin, which began at 4 p.m. The men played the other half of their tournament during the halftime segment of the men’s basketball game against SFA, which began at 7 p.m. that evening.

There was a silent auction during the SFA games, where people could place bids on various items. Case said one of the items, a ceramic plate with a picture of Old Main on it, was donated by Joe Kirk, former chair of the department of health and kinesiology at SHSU.

Case said a local minister won the highest bid, and was able to take the plate home as a collector’s item. SHSU President James Gaertner and his wife made the second highest bid for the plate. Case said he knew Gaertner wanted one of the plates, so he asked Kirk’s wife, who crafted the plate, if she would be willing to contribute another one for Gaertner if he would donate money for it.

Case said Gaertner wrote two checks for the plate, one made out to the American Heart Association and another to the Joe and Mary Kirk Scholarship Fund, a scholarship Joe Kirk founded while chair of the department of health and kinesiology.

Kirk’s daughter donated another plate for Case to put on display, and Case said anyone that wants to have it can make a donation to the Joe and Mary Kirk Scholarship Fund.

“These are definitely collector’s items,” Kirk said. “Dr. Gaertner was a student while Old Main was here, and he probably even had classes in it.”

Another item donated to the auction was an autographed regulation basketball with the signatures of all the members of the Bearkat basketball team. Case said the person who gave the highest bid is going to donate the basketball to the silent auction during the Bearkat football season. Case predicted the ball with probably be worth more later due to the success of the team this season.

Other items included an autographed basketball signed by the LadyKats basketball team, and a basketball signed by Cuttino Mobley of the Houston Rockets. Case said between $500 and $700 was raised during the silent auction.

During the halftime segment of the Bearkat basketball game against SFA, Case auctioned off a color television set donated by Ward’s Furniture and Flooring. The television included a VCR and DVD player, and it was worth $1,000. Case said the highest bid of $1,250 went to First Baptist Church of Huntsville, and the second highest bid was from Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home.

Case said both bidders wanted to help support the cause.

“Not only did First Baptist Church want this television to support their ministry, but they also wanted to help the AHA,” Case said. “The Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home is a relatively new business, and they wanted to show their support for the university.”

As another fundraising activity the department passed a contribution plate through the bleachers during halftime.

“We passed the plate around during the LadyKats and Bearkat games, and people that had extra change or greenbacks put their contributions into the plate,” Case said. “We raised $1,000 by doing this.”

Case said even SFA students contributed money.

“I know of at least one person from SFA who threw $20 in the collection plate,” Case said. “The students from SFA came to support their team against the Bearkats, but they decided to contribute to a cause that was bigger than just going to a basketball game.”

Case said each team member’s entry fee was $30 supplied by people or organizations that sponsored them to play in the special basketball tournament. He said some team members brought in over $30 from people that had contributed to them.

“Courtney Wallace, a kinesiology major, brought in $300,” Case said. “She was awarded a stereo from the American Heart Association for bringing in the most money.”

Case said his class, KIN 378, was responsible for organizing the entire event.

“The class organized the entire event in three weeks. Forty students in the class were involved, and faculty members were involved, as well.”

He said the organizations SHAW and Eta Sigma Gamma were also instrumental in helping to put the event together. He said SHAW ran the concession stand for the event, and Eta Sigma Gamma helped to pass the contribution plate during the games.

Case gave some advice for students that want to spread awareness about heart disease or anything else that they wish to advocate.

“When you spread awareness about anything, you have to have knowledge about your cause in order to be a good marketer or emissary,” Case said. “Also, you have to reflect your cause in your own personal life. For instance, if you want to spread awareness about heart disease, you should maintain a high level of wellness.”

Case said some people are effective advocators because they may have gone through a catastrophic event in their lives and want to promote their cause because they have a second chance.

“It’s easy to get excited about something if you believe in it,” Case said. “And I do.”

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