Five Leesburg and Purcellville high schools came together on Wednesday night to play a game of basketball and raise money for two local homeless organizations.
Heritage, Loudoun County and Tuscarora high schools, all in Leesburg, brought their teachers and administrators to Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville to play the faculty of Loudoun Valley High School and Woodgrove High School.
The 1st Annual Hoops for Hope game was a great symbol of camaraderie “for a town ripped in half” when Woodgrove was opened two years ago, according to Loudoun Valley Parent-Teacher Student Organization president Karen Dillon.
Brett Lesher, a guidance counselor at Loudoun County High School, was one of the event organizers.
“I am feeling blessed that we created an event with a purpose,“ Lesher said. “This is my first year at Loudoun County and I used to play basketball here. It seemed like a great idea to organize a joint faculty game to have parents and families connect in a less formal setting.
“We wanted to create a mission to make a difference," Lesher added. "People assume that here in Loudoun County we do not have an issue with homelessness, but we do have a problem. We all came together and rallied around the idea of promoting awareness and change."
People attending the game were encouraged to bring cans of food that were collected in shopping carts at the door. Attendees were also able to take photos with former Washington Redskins players, Reggie Evans and Eddie Mason.
“A cause like this puts things in perspective that for whatever reason there are people out there who need our help," said Reggie Evans, former running back for the Washington Redskins. "This gives hope, provides help for people who are trying to get established again and lets them know there are people who care."
“We need to do something about homelessness," said Eddie Mason, former linebacker for the Washington Redskins. "It is an issue near and dear to my heart and I am very excited to be here to help."
The night was filled with fun and good spirit, and in the end, after counting all of the proceeds and receiving a generous anonymous donation, The Good Shepherd Alliance and Tree of Life were presented with checks of $2000 each.
“We need help for the homeless in Loudoun County," said Dee Thiel, of the Good Shepherd Alliance, during remarks at the half-time intermission of the game. "Any little bit that you can do helps."