Basketball tournament battles bullying

Local

It’s Crusaders Against Bullying!  The 4th Annual three-on-three basketball tournament is the signature event in the Random Acts of Kindness Campaign, and they’ve raised over $25,000.

It’s all about working together to put an end to bullying.

“The idea first came to us when we heard about a student who had to drop out of a local school board for issues with bullying.  He wished to come to Catholic High but didn’t have the financial means to do so.  I partnered up with a student and a few teachers, and together we came up with this tournament that will raise money to offset the cost of his tuition,” said organizer and founder John Reilly.

The money raised from the tournament is for the Catholic Central High Bullying Prevention Fund, which is used to create scholarships that are available to students transferring into CCHS to escape a bullying situation at another high school.

Reilly, who’s an alumnus of the school, says seeing the entire community come together is what it’s all about.

“Students at Catholic High decided that they wanted to do something about it, so it’s been so amazing to see kids at the age of 10 all the way up to the age of 70 really want to participate in stand up to bullying and start treating people with respect and kindness,” said Reilly.

“I’m not the best basketball player, but I give it my shot,” said Mike Schonger, a graduate of the school in 1966.

As a former teacher, Schonger witnessed bullying for years.

“People don’t really know how it feels like to be bullied and being a teacher, I saw it firsthand back in the old days.  And we’re trying our best not to have anything happen here and bring people in who are bullied in other schools, and this is a great tournament and I’m glad I can be here to do it,” said Schonger.

Reilly says their Random Act of Kindness week has turned into a month, and that even the smallest gesture could turn someone’s entire day around.

“No matter how small the act of kindness is, realize that it has a huge effect on the people around you.  You don’t know how your actions affect others, but if we are conscious of that and we are choosing to be kind we can make a big difference,” said Reilly.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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