BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
For the past three years the annual Hoops for Troops has raised over $22,000 to help veterans in honor of Clarkston graduate Jenna Beno – and for the fourth year they hope to help more.
“It means a lot but it is spread out to so many veterans who need so much help,” said Megan Goldberg, event organizer. “For us to contribute in any small way is worth everything.”
For the fourth annual event the Clarkston Girls Basketball program is hosting Stoney Creek on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and all proceeds raised go to the Friends the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court (NOCVTC).
The NOCVTC includes veterans and community members and volunteers helping veterans assimilate back into civilian life by removing obstacles preventing them from focusing on a healthy lifestyle.
“They gave their lives for us,” said Chloe Traynor, a Clarkston High School senior and assistant to Goldberg. “People who fought for our country are homeless. I like the charity we are helping this year. It really hits home and is touching. They help and work to bring vets back to this reality. They help them get used to being back home and help them with their struggles.
“They could be walking down the street and you don’t realize they need help,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg added they were introduced to NOCVTC when Christine Rogers, head coach for the varsity team, was at a luncheon and heard Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle speak about the organization. Kittle is the president of the NOCVTC.
“We were looking for a charity to help out this season,” Goldberg said. “It keeps it more localized and helps our veterans here at home, in our own backyards.”
Traynor and Goldberg added that’s what makes Hoops for Troops special is helping the veterans who helped protect the country.
This year’s event will honor all veterans and military members. They will also have raffles to help raise funds.
The event is held in honor of Beno, a 2006 Clarkston High School graduate, who passed away October 2012 from injuries she sustained while serving in Iraq.
“I would say yes it has helped with the grieving process,” said Goldberg, one of her friends. “It has also helped knowing Jenna would have wanted the same thing. She would have been here this year in honor of all the veterans – that’s what she would have wanted. It’s not about her but everybody.”
For more information, to donate, or become a sponsor please contact Goldberg at CHSHoopsTroops@gmail.com.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE