RANDOLPH, NJ- Organized youth and high school sports, when run by people with good intentions, can help to teach kids far more than just how to play a game. It can teach teamwork, dedication, loyalty, and how to help others, traits that help kids grow into adults who contribute positively to society.

The Randolph high school girls basketball team recently put those character building traits on display, holding a fundraiser for the Battered Women’s Shelter of Morristown.  In a halftime ceremony during their game against Morris Knolls, the team presented a check to a representative of the shelter.

Being fan appreciation night, a large crowd was on hand to witness the presentation.  The team hoped it would have a positive impact on many of the girls from the youth recreation and travel teams who were invited to the game.

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“I hope the younger girls will see that the program is more than just basketball, it's about how we can come together, and in this case help others,” said senior captain Kiera Cesaro.  “By the time the younger girls get into high school hopefully they will continue with this fundraiser or be inspired to participate in others.” 

The fundraiser was designed by the girls’ basketball booster club, who came up with three different charities for the team to choose from.

“We wanted to reach out more to the community than we have in previous years,” explained the teams other senior captain, Rachel Kral.  “We chose the Battered Women's Shelter of Morristown because it doesn't get as much publicity as others, and we thought it would be nice for young women to support women and children. The cause seemed different than most charities I've done.”

The team held a free throw shooting contest, where each player took a total of 100 shots, after getting pledges ranging anywhere from 5 cents to $1 per shot made. Over the course of a few practices, each girl took 100 shots with coach Kristin Torres recording how many were made.  Then each girl went back to those pledges to collect the proper amount.

“It was great we were able to combine athletics and charity. It shows a lot of character for a group of young girls to do something like this,” said Kral.  “The fundraiser gave me a good feeling; I loved seeing the smile on the representative of the shelter's face when she got the check.”

The check the team presented to the shelter was for atotal of $2,500, an impressive amount the girls were proud of.

Cesaro concluded by stating, “The attitude of the team about the fundraiser was all positive and genuine.  We selected this specific charity because we felt we could make a small but meaningful impact.”