Both school spirit and competition were palpable in the High School gym this Tuesday night when the staff members of Pinewood and Bursley Elementary’s met on the basketball court! Hundreds of families filled the bleachers and the music was pumping!
Ticket and Pinewood t-shirts sales benefited the AT Children’s Project whose goal is to find life-improvements and a cure for ataxia-telangiectasia, a rare and genetic disease that attacks in early childhood and progressively affects coordination. The symptoms are like those of Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy combined and it directly affects one Jenison family. Both Livi [6th grade, Pinewood] and Kate [sophomore] Veldink live with AT and their mom, Mary, a third grade Pinewood teacher is, “amazed by the support of the community who continue to walk with us as we fight this disease.” The crowd was more than happy to cheer for Livi and Mary who thanked everyone prior to the game.
Principals Rane Garcia and Rachael Postle-Brown welcomed the cheering crowd and the team introductions were made! The Kindergarten Cheer Teams welcomed each player with high-fives and opposing team members gave hugs and high-fives before tip off to show, as Rane Garcia said, “it was a clean, fun game.” Once the game began the action on the court was face-paced and fun-filled!
The audience got to participate in mid-quarter dances: The Jenison Wave, The Chicken Dance, YMCA and the Cha Cha Slide. For “between quarter” entertainment, the Pinewood Student Dance Team performed with cups to Anna Kendrick’s song of the same name and danced to “What Does the Fox Say?” and the Kindergarten Cheer Team returned to the court to show off their cheering and dancing skills! The Combined staff dance team who had “performed at Madison Square Garden last week” danced to “Timber” and were definitely a crowd-pleaser.
But it was the dedicated athletes who really brought the crowd to their feet! They endured many challenges including playing part of the game with a tiny basketball and the entire third period in costumes. The refs kept everyone in line and when fouls were made [many by ECC Principal and honorary Pinewood Staff member, Lee Westervelt — even when he wasn’t on the court!] students from the stands were subbed in to shoot the free throws, earning a handful of points for both teams throughout the game.
The final score was Pinewood 50 — Bursley 41 but the cheers, laughter and smiles seen throughout the gym made it clear that there were only winners at this game!