The 10th Annual Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball Game on
Saturday, April 7, will bring local notables from all walks of life to the
Shawnee State University Rhodes Athletic Center to raise money for Scioto
County Special Olympics.
The event is one of the two annual fundraisers for Scioto County
Special Olympics, and all funds support local athletes in fulfilling their
goals in athletic competition and physical fitness. The other fundraiser is the
Walk-A-Thon, which occurs every September in Tracy Park and serves as a kickoff
to the Scioto County Special Olympics athletic season. The athletic year
includes the sports of basketball, bowling, golf, track and field, and
“Special Olympics is one of the most visible and recognizable non-profits out there and we are happy to be a part of that,” said SCDD Superintendent Matt Purcell, who is playing on the celebrity team this year. “Our local Special Olympics program has had positive effects not only on the athletes but on the community at large.”
At the core of the event are the Olympians. They include members of
both the Vern Riffe School Cardinals and the Shooting Stars basketball teams,
who will combine under Coach Rita Arthur to play against the celebrity team.
The Cardinals are school-age athletes, while the Shooting Stars are adults.
Both teams play competitive basketball throughout southern Ohio.
In addition to the game itself, there are T-shirt sales, split-the-pot,
concessions, a half-time foul shot contest for kids, raffles, and a short
performance by local band Social InTents. There will also be a provider fair on
the mezzanine level that showcases area agencies that offer services to people
with disabilities and more information about SCDD.
Locals playing on the celebrity team include:
- Mike Bell, Autism
Project of Southern Ohio
- Kristen Bradshaw,
Portsmouth High School teacher/softball coach
- Tyler Clifford,
Bailiff in Scioto County Domestic Relations Court
- Hope Comer,
Publisher of the Portsmouth Daily Times/Community Common
- Dirk Cunningham, RCW
- Erin Daniels,
record-smashing Minford High School basketball player
- Bryan Davis, Scioto
- Noah Fannin,
Portsmouth High School teacher/soccer coach
- Sean King, 98.3 WPAY
- Jeff Kleha, Attorney
and SCDD board member
- Matt Purcell, SCDD
- Mark Richards, Portsmouth
- Bill Runyon, RCW
- Ryan Salmons, State
- Captain Dan Simco,
Portsmouth Salvation Army
- Josh Stewart,
“Hardwood Heroes is a fundraiser, yes, but it is also an incredible community event that truly uplifts and spreads awareness of developmental disabilities and Special Olympics,” said Scioto County Developmental Disabilities Community Relations Coordinator Lori McNelly. “Last year, we had about 400 people come to this family friendly event, many of whom have never before had interactions with people with disabilities. People leave the event knowing they have been a part of something wonderful in our community.”
Tickets are $2 each at the door, and the fun starts at noon. The event
is sponsored by Scioto County Developmental Disabilities.