Girl’s and boy’s basketball raise over $2,000 for SpiriThon through “Free-Throw a Thon”


Farmington Boys Basketball via Twitter

Helping hands — Members of the boys basketball team line up to cheer on their coaches and teammates complete a 5K run during practice. The run raised money and support for IRIS, an organization that helps refugees.

Sydney Bigelow, Opinions Editor

While continuing to improve and compete in the Central Connecticut Conference, the high school basketball program has taken numerous practices to contribute to school and community fundraisers. In the past few weeks, players and coaches have participated in events for the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS) and SpiriThon organizations, combining basketball drills with life lessons of volunteering and giving back.

In the past few months, members of the community have registered for IRIS’s five kilometer (5K) ‘Run for Refugees’, which was moved to a virtual platform due to the pandemic. Although this online, self directed experience may not be as exciting as an in person race, it presented the opportunity for individuals and groups to complete the run during their free time. Boys basketball players and coaches took the time at the end of practice on March 7 to register and complete the 5K, raising money for the organization while improving their running endurance. 

“The Farmington boys’ basketball program is all about growing as individuals, whether that be as players on the court, or as people off of it. Service has always been a core value of our program…our community is so good to us, and supportive in so many ways. The goal is to give more to your community than you receive. And we are appreciative of all that we receive,” coach Jeff Daddio said. 

Raising funds for the Children’s Connecticut (CCMC) is a community effort led by the SpiriThon club. As their own way of creative fundraising, the boy’s and girl’s basketball teams hosted a ‘Free-Throw-a-Thon’ on March 14 to support the kids at CCMC. 

All participating individuals reached out to family and friends to receive pledges to benefit SpiriThon. Each player shot 50 free throws and received a donation from their sponsors for every shot that made it in the net. The player who scored the most baskets received a $50 gift card to Naples, a local SpiriThon sponsor.  

The teams collectively raised over $2,000 for SpiriThon, bringing the club closer to their $10,000 goal for the school year. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to make a difference in their community while also working on their skills, especially senior Ricky Podgorski who successfully scored 47 out of 50 free throws, setting a team record and winning the gift card prize. 

“I think the Free-Throw-a-Thon was a really creative way to help a great cause. We were able to help our community by playing the game we love. Everyone had a great experience and are grateful for the opportunity,” Podgorski said. 

Farmington is currently in good standing against the other teams in their conference. Fans can tune into the National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS) network’s virtual platform to watch the team play and support the program as they continue to help their community while making progress on the court.