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"Rainbow Classic" Brings Color to Future Children's Hospital Teen Lounge

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Basketball fans and Golisano Children’s Hospital supporters will fill the University of Rochester’s Palestra bleachers Friday evening (Dec. 20) when the Pittsford Mendon and Pittsford Sutherland boys’ and girls’ varsity teams face each other in the 13th annual Rainbow Classic. The rival teams will play to raise money in support of furnishing the Teen Lounge of the future Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).

The Rainbow Classic was created in memory of Katelyn Pasley and Ryan McCluski, Pittsford students who were treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Over the years, proceeds from the event have supported many patients and programs.

The competition will kick off at 6 p.m. when the girls go head-to-head and continue at 8 p.m. when the boys’ teams compete. Tickets are on sale for $10 and can be purchased at the main office of the Pittsford Mendon or Pittsford Sutherland high schools, as well as the Pittsford Athletic Office. They often sell out the morning of the game. 2013 Miracle Kid Alyssa Morales will be a guest speaker at this year’s event.  

“Contributing to the look of the Teen Lounge is something kids get excited about,” said Kim McCluski. “Some of the students and athletes may have friends who have been or are currently patients at the children’s hospital and it’s comforting to them to know they’ve helped design an area where people their age can go to relax and have some fun.”

Basketball players and cheerleaders from both schools put a lot of time and effort into selling programs and raising awareness about the children’s hospital, contributing a great deal to the game’s fundraising success. In addition to the funds raised for furnishings, both schools’ art departments hope to be involved with designing pieces and using photos from the basketball games to display on the lounge walls.

For the past two years, proceeds from the Rainbow Classic event have benefited the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Program, raising nearly $50,000 for one of the children’s hospital’s $100 million campaign priority programs. Funds have also supported the construction of a patient room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, as well as laptop computers that help patients better communicate with friends and families.

“Pittsford Athletics strongly believes in giving back to our community through fundraising,” said Director of Athletics Scott Barker. “There is a fierce and intense rivalry between the schools, but every year the athletes get energized and work together to raise money for a great cause.”  

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