Shepard students hold charity basketball game to help veterans
Shepard Middle School students and teachers participated in a charity basketball game to raise money to help veterans. | Courtesy of Shepard Middle School
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:15PM
DEERFIELD — Two Deerfield students became junior patriots while working on a school project to support veterans.
Eli Daitch, 13, and Max Dahl, 14, both Shepard Middle School eighth graders, thought it would be fun to raise money for veterans by putting together an activity that the entire school could enjoy.
So they decided to organize a basketball game with eighth-grade boys from Shepard and Caruso playing against the teachers, something like the fund-raising they did last year, but this time with a lot more enthusiasm.
“It was just another project when my friend Max Dahl and I started working on it, but our social studies teacher, Mr. (David) Komie, taught us more about the veterans as we were going through the process,” Daitch said.
“It became more than just something to accomplish. As I was learning about the veterans, the project became closer to me. He told us about what the veterans go through, about the injured ones and how the families who have lost their loved ones felt. And it became real to me.”
The boys realized they weren’t doing everything they could to make this event something everyone at school would want to attend, so they added a few attractions.
They asked cheerleaders not only to come, but also to do performances. And the boys added a bake sale with a lot of treats, said Dahl, 14.
They also dropped fliers off in homerooms, posted them around the school and even made announcements about the event during lunch, he added.
“I hope this project helped a lot of veterans feel better about their daily lives. I was honored to do this. It made me feel like I was serving them,” Dahl said.
M.J. Daitch, Eli’s mother, said that the Shepard basketball team had such a great record – undefeated the last two years – that a lot of the adults expected the youngsters to better the teachers in the game.
But that was not to be.
“The teachers’ shirts were dripping wet at the end, but they won by four points. Maybe because – it was so funny – kids like my son were afraid to touch them.”
However, the event raised more than $307 for the Fallen Patriots Fund, she added.