Erskine Academy of South China emerged as the biggest fundraiser nationwide for the recent Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge Rally Day.
College and high school basketball fans were encouraged to pledge a donation for each 3-point shot their favorite team made, and Erskine fans pledged a total of $8,062 to edge California’s San Marin High School for the top spot.
Erskine Academy girls varsity basketball coach Mitch Donar lost his mother to cancer last October after watching her fight the disease for 10 years.
Donar wanted to honor his mother by making the team’s Coaches vs. Cancer basketball season better than in any previous year because she not only was a big supporter of the school but served as the president of Erskine’s sports boosters for many years.
The team immediately embraced the opportunity and its first pledge came in on New Year’s Eve.
“The Coaches vs. Cancer game we host annually isn’t just a game, but rather it’s a time to collectively come together for the common good of putting an end to cancer,” Donar said.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.
Bonny Eagle duo wins Gaziano awards
Zachary Klein and Arlo Pike, both from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, were named winners of the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards during a ceremony Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
The awards honor the top senior football offensive and defensive linemen in the state based on their work on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The two winners each received a trophy, a leather jacket and a $5,000 scholarship, the largest high school football scholarship of its kind in the country.
Klein was selected for the Gaziano offensive lineman award after previously being named winner of the Gerry Raymond Award as the best lineman in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association.
Pike won the Gaziano award for defense after earning All-SMAA first-team and All-Academic honors in both 2016 and 2017.
Runners-up were offensive linemen Cole Hoffman of Kennebunk and Sean McCormack-Kuhman of Wells and defensive linemen Michael Lunny of Sanford and Aidan Parmenter of Leavitt High School in Turner Center. Each runner-up received a $1,000 scholarship, a trophy and a leather jacket with the Gaziano Awards logo.
The scholarship and awards program for Maine senior high school football linemen was created in memory of Frank J. Gaziano, founder of National Distributors and a former college All-American and professional football player with a lifelong passion for local sports. Annual funding for the $14,000 in scholarships is provided by National Distributors in South Portland, the company founded by the late Gaziano.
During the last eight years of the Gaziano awards, $96,000 has been awarded to Maine students by National Distributors.
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