There’s an annual basketball tradition in Corinth that involves a little basketball and a lot of goodwill.
Corinth Central School District’s Hoops for Holidays raised more than $7,100 on Nov. 30 and has raised approximately $17,100 over its three years. That money goes toward buying needed and wanted gifts for local families for the holidays.
Started by athletic director Hilary Haskell and varsity boys basketball coach Craig Falkenbury as a way to involve the school’s basketball teams in community service, the day is usually a two-hour funfest of free throws, pies in the face and more.
Each member of boys and girls basketball teams, from modified upward, shoots 20 free throws for either a flat-rate or per-made-shot donation. Also, teachers and staff members volunteer to have whipped cream pies thrown in their faces for $1 each.
On top of that, the concession stand proceeds were donated to the cause, and several individuals and local businesses donated as well.
According to Haskell, Corinth’s guidance department reaches out to families it thinks might need assistance around holiday time. If a family is interested, the student(s) from that family submits a need or want list to the guidance department.
“Our guidance department is terrific with this, and they work with other community agencies to coordinate who’s covered,” Haskell said.
“It’s all anonymous (to us), and we want to keep it that way,” said Falkenbury, who raised more than $2,400 this year. “Hillary does almost all of the shopping, wrapping, gets them grouped and labeled and gives them to the guidance office, and it distributes them.”
This year’s proceeds went to 14 children in seven families.
The first year was a trial by fire, but the event, held after school, is now a favorite throughout the village.
“I told my guys, ‘The most important thing you’re doing this season is probably today,’ ” Falkenbury said. “Being able to help and being a difference-maker, it’s pretty neat to watch it happen.”