Communities to Come Together During Playing For Polio


 Picture a gymnasium with energized fans in the den cheering on their basketball players as Derry Area students do the same. It seems like a normal basketball game, but the cheerleaders are playing the game and the guys are cheering from the sidelines in traditional cheerleader attire. It’s not a normal basketball game, but the scene during the successful charity event “Hoops For Haiti,” organized cooperatively by the Interact Clubs of Greater Latrobe and Derry Area two years ago. The event, innovated by Mr. Snyder, Interact Club advisor, was a success, raising over $5,000 to go toward Haitian recovery. “After the devastation of the Haiti earthquake, I had the idea and realized they could probably use some assistance,” said Snyder.

Organizers share the same excitement as they plan another successful event and hope to bring it to students all while raising money for a worthy cause. “Not only is it just really fun, but it’s a great way for our little school to connect to something bigger in the world,” said senior Katie Douds, Interact Club president.

“Playing for Polio” will raise funds for Polio vaccinations through Rotary’s Pennies for Polio.  Rotary Club International has worked to eradicate Polio since 1980. “Through their efforts, there is only one percent left to go, the most difficult and most important,” said Douds.

Derry and Latrobe will compete in a “Backyard Brawl” charity basketball game, with the roles reversed.  The cheerleaders will be playing on the hardwood, and the boys skirted up as the cheerleaders for the event!  “The rivalry will inspire people to attend and get there,” remarked Snyder. “It’s good natured fun!”

 “I can’t wait to see the amusement on everyone’s faces during the game,” said junior member Jessica Buchman. “All students should all go and support our basketball players and cheerleaders while benefiting a worthy cause!”

The game is set for Friday, March 16, 2010 at Derry Area Senior High School gymnasium at 6:00 p.m.  In addition to the basketball, a variety of events will take place throughout the evening, including a basket raffle.

 “I believe it’s going to be a very good game between two competitive schools for a great cause,” said junior Blake Reeping, member of the basketball team. “The basketball team and cheerleaders have taught each other the fundamentals of the sports. The switch up will be a show as we cheer our lady wildcat cheerleaders on. It should be a very fun night.”

A sense of unity is sure to occur with the seas of orange and black on one side and yellow and blue on the other, each rooting their team on. Interact club offered pre-sale of t-shirts, but numerous will be available on the evening of the event. Each shirt costs $10.00 and sizes range from small to XXL.

Douds and club members have high hopes for the event after much hard work in organizing. “I hope that a lot of people will come because it really is a good cause. I also hope our girls beat Derry this year,” she said joking.

“I hope we get a big turnout, we all worked really hard to make this event fun and entertaining,” said Buchman similarly.

“It’s for a good cause and Latrobe students should be motivated to want to help good causes,” encouraged Snyder. “Secondly, it will be the funniest thing that they have ever seen, hands down.”