Changing only a few letters of the alphabets, but making a big change for people in need, a local charity event mixed hoops with hope.
Hoops4hope.info and the Colleyville Heritage High School men’s basketball program hosted a charity basketball camp Saturday at the high school.
The three-hour camp for youth in grades three through eight benefited the Tarrant Area Food Bank. Admission for the camp was $5 or five non-perishable food items.
The collected 650 pounds of food and $605 in cash from the entry fee, concessions and donations.
JoAnn Biggers, community liaison at the food bank, told them as she accepted a check that for every dollar, Tarrant Area Food Bank can provide five meals.
Organizers said it meant that their efforts will feed more than 3,000 families.
Campers not only improved their skills as basketball players, but gained valuable experience giving back to their community as well as growing in character by supporting and becoming involved in an important cause, according to sponsors.
Caleb Ritenour, a junior at Colleyville Heritage, founded Hoops for Hope “out of a compassion for those in need.” As well as a member of his school’s Panthers basketball team, Ritenour is a varsity all-district honor roll student athlete.
His father, Brian Ritenour, who promotes the organization, said Caleb “combined his passion for giving back to the community with his love of basketball.”
Hoops for Hope seeks to provide the community with affordable basketball camps for kids and families, as well as donate food and other necessities to families in need. The organization works with the Panthers, Tarrant Area Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.
The organization’s mission is to provide an outreach for the community with three primary goals:
• Providing affordable basketball camps for all families with superior and passionate coaching support focused on character, teamwork, skill development and fun.
• Providing food and donations to families that are in desperate need of support through donations such as camp registration fees.
• Providing a platform where young men can learn that by donating their time and talents to feeding those in need can feed their character, self esteem and a sense of purpose to a greater good.
Stephen Hamrick, head basketball coach at Colleyville Heritage, is director of competition and mentors those associated with the organization. Volunteers include the school’s coaching staff and varsity and junior varsity teams.
Organizers believe “kids should hunger for hoops, not dinner.”
For more information, go to www.hoops4hope.info.