Georgetown High School is hosting a foundation game against North Adams Saturday, November 14 at 6 p.m.
Both varsity basketball squads will take on the North Adams Devils to raise money for the Coaches Community Fund. The fund helps people who have been diagnosed with various illnesses that cause them to take treatment or have an abundance of medical bills.
Any monetary donations will go toward the individual to help travel expenses to and from treatment, to help pay medical bills, or for any other way the individual could use the money to help with their situation.
Since the first game in 2009, the game has raised between $3,000 and $4,000 annually to benefit local families. Jerry Underwood, Georgetown administrative assistant Christy Lucas and Georgetown assistant principal/athletic director Mike Jennings are the three people who got the foundation off the ground, with treasurer Eric Toole joining later.
According to Lucas, the three had been raising money to fight cancer since 2005 by participating in Relay for Life events, but after hearing stories of local people fighting all kinds of illnesses they decided to make a more local impact.
“We knew and know of people who need gas money immediately with the onset of a diagnosis, need a bill paid, or things like that,” Lucas said. “It’s a shock.”
Lucas herself noted she has been impacted by sudden medical issues, as has Underwood. They know how it feels to be in the position of the people who apply for help.
“My mom, my dad and my sister all had cancer,” Lucas said. “I know what it’s like to be stuck in a parking garage with no money to pay the ticket to get out because you’ve been there for a week.
Lucas also noted they get roughly four to five applications per year, but not all people who are selected come through the applications.
“If somebody doesn’t apply and we know of a need, we submit their name. It’s just something that we try to keep local. Everything we raise for the fund goes in the fund and then we donate it. Sometimes we get three to four names, sometimes we get none. Then you see a benefit and you see the struggle. So you research it, and if that person has a connection with us, even if it’s distant, we add their name.”
This is not something to be taken lightly, and the four of them do their research and have some requirements before they will accept a nomination.
“If somebody applies and we don’t know who it is, they do have to have a physician’s signature,” Lucas said. “That way we know it’s legitimate. The last thing we want to do is have this get into the wrong hands.”
Lucas specifically gave an example of someone the organizaion was able to help out earlier this year.
“We’ve been able to help a lot of people,” Lucas said. “We gave a check to a mom about a month ago. She started crying, saying ‘You don’t even know.’ and I told her I think we do. She then told me she got an eviction notice that day. It’s the little things like that.”
In addition to the games, there will also be a dinner held at the school to raise money for the fund. The dinner will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday and will cost $10 to attend. Game tickets are $5 and no passes are accepted.