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IESA congratulates the boys' basketball team from Edison Middle School in Champaign for being selected as the 2016-17 school year's IESA One Team award recipient.
The award, which is open to any IESA member school team that participates in an IESA state series, is designed to recognize the generosity and selflessness that is commonly on display by so many students within the Association. Teams submitting an application are required to send photos/videos demonstrating their efforts, a recommendation from the school administration or community leader, and a team mission statement. Teams can choose to volunteer their time within their school or out in their local community.
Members of the IESA Officials Advisory Committee reviewed all submitted applications and the Comets' project, Dropping Dimes for March of Dimes, was selected as the winning school this year. March of Dimes' mission is to identify why premature babies are born and research how this can be prevented. March of Dimes identifies that "Prematurity is the #1 killer of babies in the United States. We are working to change that and help more moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. From polio to prematurity the March of Dimes has focused on researching the problems that threaten our children and finding ways to prevent them."
The service project was coordinated as a mutual effort between the local chapter for March of Dimes, the Edison boys' basketball coach, Marc Changnon and the student-athletes. As part of this service project, members of the basketball team signed up to shoot 100 free throws each on a Friday afternoon. The students set goals for themselves and collected pledges for each free throw made or flat donations. The Edison Middle School boys' basketball team will be formally recognized at a school awards program in May and will receive a plaque and monetary award from the IESA for their efforts.
"Champaign Unit 4 lives a strong vision of holding its student-athletes to the highest standards and asks of its coaches to produce young athletes [who] believe in commitment, dedication, teamwork, and citizenship on and off the court," wrote Edison Middle School Principal Angie Schoonover. The Edison Comets had initially set a goal of raising $500 but through the team's efforts, they were able to raise more than $800. "Each year, we hear about students and teams involved with IESA giving back to their community, fundraising for a cause, supporting their opponents in times of tragedy. One of the foundations of interscholastic athletics and activities is keeping learning at the core; our goal is to not only provide students with the opportunity to participate in our activities, but also highlight when they are using the tools to be active members of their school and local community. The teaching and support students receive from parents, teachers and coaches, school administrators and from their own peers is invaluable to their growth," said IESA Assistant Executive Director, Leslie Albee.
According to Peggy Busch, Development Director for March of Dimes, "This fundraiser will help to benefit our local market to increase awareness with education and resources for moms and babies born too soon." To learn more about March of Dimes and how you can support this organization, please visit their site - http://www.marchofdimes.org.