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Two communities came together at Oswego High School on Saturday to raise awareness and funds to combat pediatric cancer as part of the ninth annual Communities vs. Cancer Hoops for Hope event.
Throughout the day, girls and boys basketball teams from Yorkville High School and Oswego High School faced off against each other, as spectators participated in a blood drive through Heartland Blood Center, played games, enjoyed a bake sale, and tried to take home more than 50 prizes in a silent auction and raffle.
The event grew out of a breast cancer event in Yorkville, alternating between YHS and OHS each year.
Volunteer event coordinator Crystal Robinson praised the community that came together to organize the event, many of whom had been affected by cancer in some way.
"Everyone had their own reason for coming and helping. The community aspect has been really good," Robinson said.
Proceeds from the event went to Cal's Angels, a pediatric cancer foundation that raises awareness and funds for research. According to Robinson, this year marked the second year that Communities vs. Cancer teamed up with Cal's Angels and the event was well on its way to raising $5,000 by the middle of the day.
Eight pediatric cancer survivors from Yorkville and Oswego were recognized at the event: OHS senior Connor Robinson; Roman Niklos, 6; Braiden May, 7; Nicholas Zarcone, 8; fifth grader Madison Martinez; sixth grader Gavin Clarke; Isaac Parris, 13; and YHS sophomore Madi Beetham. In addition to their recognition as survivors, Beetham and Robinson both played on the sophomore girls and varsity boys teams respectively, on Saturday.