Score one for charity
Firefighter Tom Heneghan scoops the ball while being guarded by history teacher Tony Sylvester. Elmwood Park High School's business club, DECA, hosted a charity basketball game Nov. 29. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:46AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Firefighters, police officers and teachers took to the basketball court last week to help students raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago.
The Ball for a Cause basketball game Nov. 29 was organized by Elmwood Park High School’s DECA club, a student business group.
About $700 was raised at the game, which featured the police and fire departments playing against high school faculty in the school gymnasium.
December is National Epilepsy Awareness Month and Illinois DECA, which the school’s DECA club is a part of, suppors the foundation.
Zyrika Pellumb, 18, a senior at Elmwood Park High School and president of the school’s DECA Club, said police officers, firefighters and teachers were the draw for the event. “To involve the community we thought we would involve the police and fire department,” she said.
Besides the $3 admission fee, the club raised money by selling pizza donated by Old World Pizza and Armand’s Pizza. They also sold raffle tickets for gift cards from local businesses as well as Wal-Mart in Melrose Park. “Everyone around the Elmwood Park area is really giving,” she said.
Karen Bear, student advisor for the high school club, said they are close to having enough money to send a child to a special camp for youth who have epilepsy, a neurological disorder. “It costs $800 and we’re almost there,” she said.
Though the final score apparently was the source of a good-natured dispute, Bear said the teachers won, and both sides enjoyed themselves.
Phil LaPuma, a community service officer for Elmwood Park Police Department, played in the game, scoring six points.
“It was a good time,” he said. “We had a lot of laughs. It was done for charity so that was a good thing.”
Bear said the police donated $100 of the total money raised. Turnout was good and there are plans to do it again next year.