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On Friday, March 21, the students of The Morgan School, along with teachers, staff, and faculty, will raise money, basket by basket, for the graduating class of 2014, as well as The Cove Center for Grieving Children, by way of a friendly teacher-versus-student basketball game, Swoosh for Change.
The brainchild of Morgan seniors PaulMichael Mulally and Liz Bradley, Swoosh for Change is now celebrating its third year. Garnering a bevy of community support while raising money for two great causes, hopes are that this year's game is even more successful than last year's event, which raised $2,000. Those proceeds were divided evenly between the Class of 2014 and the memorial fund for Sandy Hook victim Chase Kowalski, whose family was in attendance for the event.
"We try to accomplish two things with this fundraiser," explained teacher/advisor Laurie DelGrego-Fasulo. "One is to raise money for the class to offset the cost of prom and Project Graduation, and the other is to raise money and awareness for important programs like the Cove Center...because a lot of people don't realize that there are places like this out there to help when you need it."
The Cove, located in Meriden, provides family and school-based programs using peer-support group concepts for helping children, teens, and families work with their unresolved grief due to the death of someone significant in their lives and other traumatic losses.
Sponsored by Partners in Community of Clinton and Palmieri's New York Style Pizza, Swoosh for Change is the epitome of Morgan Husky pride, evidenced by its popular Facebook page at facebook.com/SwooshforChange, as well as its Twitter account,
@swooshforchange. As a special addition to this year's event, Mulally and Bradley are putting together an original movie to go along with the game-the very professionally developed trailer can currently be viewed on Facebook.
"This year beyond the fundraising aspect of the event, we wanted to focus on the fact that we are all a big family here at Morgan and in Clinton," explained Mulally. "We want to promote Husky pride and showcase our close-knit caring for each other, and we thought putting together a video movie would be a great way to do that."
He added, "We encourage everyone in town to come out and support this fundraiser, especially alumni. We are celebrating the current Morgan students, as well as the past and future students."
In addition to ticket sales, T-shirts adorned with "We Are Morgan" will be sold for $10 at the event, as well as baked goods and other items.
"What started out as something that we thought would just be a one year happening has now turned into an annual event that everyone gets involved in and looks forward to. We are very proud of what this has become," said Mulally, who plans to become a high school social studies teacher.
Bradley added, "After the first year, we realized how much potential this event had and we decided to capitalize on that to help our class and help a charity that we felt passionate about. This event has meant a lot to us, and we spend a huge amount of time and effort each year planning it and making sure it runs smoothly, so we are so glad to see how much it has grown and we hope it continues even after we graduate."
DelGrego-Fasulo, an English teacher at Morgan, will ensure this event will move forward even after Mulally and Bradley graduate. Next year, she explained, the Student Leadership Society at the high school will take over the planning of the game and choosing a charity for which to play.
"These kids are phenomenal and amazing," she said. "They have enhanced the school community and brought the entire town together for a good cause. I am very proud to be a part of this. They are using Swoosh for Change as a platform to unite Clinton."
Swoosh for Change is Friday, March 21 at The Morgan School. Doors open for the event at 6:30 p.m., and the game starts at 7 p.m. in the new gym. Tickets are $5 per person. A special half-time performance will be performed by the student music group Summer Came Slowly. For more information, visit facebook.com/SwooshforChange and follow @swooshforchange on Twitter.