Students at Woodgrove High School held a basketball skills fundraiser on October 6 to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation.
Colette Bain, a 17-year-old senior and member of the Woodgrove women’s basketball team, died suddenly on August 27. Bain suffered from epilepsy.
Danny Maher, senior and member of the men’s basketball team, organized the DECA skills and three-point basketball competition for the foundation.
Maher, a member of Distributing Education Clubs of America or DECA, had planned a fundraiser for his senior DECA project. He said that when Bain passed away, he decided to plan a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Foundation.
“Colette died of epilepsy and I started thinking I wanted to do some kind of fundraiser. I thought now would be a good time to post it. I spoke to my teacher, and we l ‘ve organized and it’s really explosive,” said Maher.
Maher knew Bain from playing basketball and said they often played in some pickup games.
“I knew her and respected her and her work ethic, and that really drove me to organize this,” Maher said.
He said that as an advanced marketing class, they decorated the senior hallway with purple and put purple epilepsy ribbons all over the school. He said the hallway would remain decorated for the rest of the year.
Averie Gannon, senior and member of DECA, said she was more than happy to help Maher execute the fundraiser. She said she didn’t know Bain personally but wanted to help with his memory.
“I feel like I missed an opportunity to know someone good. I think that motivated those who didn’t know her to participate and everyone who knew her is so connected in the community and they feel remorse together, but because they’re all connected, they’re mutually reinforcing,” Gannon said.
She added that they “wanted to make their senior year something that Colette wouldn’t want to be a part of and make sure she was upheld and remembered in our Woodgrove legacy and in our class legacy,” Gannon said.
The DECA skills and three-point basketball competition was held during the school den, students dressed in purple paid $2 to watch senior basketball players from the boys and girls teams s face with their skills.
George Hughes, another Woodgrove senior, hosted an Instagram fundraiser for the foundation. In the last 30 days, he raised $13,500, which he was very grateful for.
Hughes said Bain was his best friend and chose the $13,000 fundraising goal because 13 was his jersey number.
“I was hoping to raise at least $1,300, I’m so grateful,” Hughes said.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to have a friend like Colette. She was caring, honest and never failed to make me laugh. . . the best part about being friends with Colette was how nice she was. She always knew what to say to me and make me feel better too,” Hughes said on the Instagram fundraiser. Plus, he felt like part of the family.
Hughes said his Instagram Story and fundraising post has been shared across the country, with donations from Seattle Washington and Denver Colorado. He said he received private messages of thanks from parents who lost their children to epilepsy.
Maher said that in addition to the skills fundraiser, they ordered about 75 purple t-shirts for the event. He said they sold out soon after he put them up for sale this morning. He said they plan to order more shirts with the proceeds to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation.
“If you’re at the gym today, you’ve contributed to the Epilepsy foundation, you came to see this and all of that money will go to the foundation,” Maher said at the fundraiser.
Annika Rohs, a senior point guard for the Woodgrove High School women’s basketball team, won the basketball skills competition. She competed against Maher in the final round.
Rohs, who has been playing basketball with Bain since 8e grade, said “we are obviously saddened by his passing, but we try to keep his spirit alive by doing things like this.”
The event raised $2,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation.
To donate through the Instagram fundraiser set up by Hughes, go to https://www.instagram.com/p/ChySAsBABVh/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=