All-day hoopsters shooting for cure
It may only be hoops for a day, but Nick Slade and others playing in a 24-hour charity game this weekend hope for a cure. The 28-year-old (Hi, it's Sara...he's 29) London resident organized the event to benefit Autism Ontario and more than 3,000 Londoners living with the disorder. "I thought basketball would be a great sport to play because most people can pick it up and all you need is a ball," Slade said. Inspired by his five-year-old autistic niece, Slade decided this year to run a fundraiser.
He recruited 30 friends to find sponsors and play one long game of four-on-four basketball. Participants will play for 30 minutes and then break for two hours. Tents will be set up so participants can rest between shifts. Rented lights will illuminate the court after dark.
"One in 150 individuals are diagnosed with autism and the rate is going up," said fundraising manager Marti Lussier of London's Autism Ontario. "It's very costly to support."
Money from the event will support London individuals and families mainly through summer camp subsidies, Lussier said.
Slade's goal is to raise $10,000. He's raised $1,250 personally and won't know the final tally until after the weekend. With one year left in Fanshawe College's child and youth worker program, Slade hopes to become a teacher. "I will probably work with autistic children in the future," he said.