VALHALLA, N.Y. – The Valhalla Sports Booster Club held a fundraiser Sunday afternoon for its fourth annual basketball game between the Valhalla teachers and faculty members and the world renowned Harlem Wizards.
Theresa Colantuno, co-president of the booster club, said this annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the schools.
“It’s really, really big because all of this money goes directly to support the physical education departments,” Colantuno said.
Through ticket sales, concessions and merchandise, the club is able to donate a significant amount of money to the physical education departments to purchase items that cannot be fit in to the district’s budget. Last year, the event raised $1,000 for each school in the Valhalla Union Free School District. Co-president Sandy Riguzzi said the money went towards purchasing new sports equipment such as cones or new basketballs.
“This is important because with budget cuts and things like that the schools can’t even buy their basic supplies that they need,” Riguzzi said. “It’s all that little stuff that really counts.”
In the game, the Harlem Wizards showed off their high-flying dunks and tricks against the teachers, all while making sure the crowd was involved and engaged. The Wizards are currently in their 50th year of providing trick-oriented basketball shows in fundraising events.
Valhalla resident Patrick O’Sullivan was at the game for the third year in a row with his daughter Kristen. O’Sullivan said the Wizards never fail in entertaining.
“It’s always a great time at these games, they put on a good show,” O’Sullivan said. “It also raises a lot of money for the schools too which is a great cause.”
Colantuno and Riguzzi said that Sunday’s game not only lived up to expectations in entertainment, but also in the amount of money raised. They said they plan to continue organizing the event as long as it remains a staple in the Valhalla community.
“As long as it remains as successful as it is, we’re going to keep doing it,” Colantuno said. “It’s also very rewarding doing this to give back to the schools and the kids.”