MHS recognized for GameBall Run efforts

Lonnie Schwindenhammer GateHouse Media Illinois
The Children’s Hospital of Illinois recognized the Morton GameBall Run recently for their efforts in raising about $100,000 in the last three years for the hospital. The event is hosted by the MHS boys basketball team with participation for all the schools in District 709. The plaque outside a room on the general pediatrics floor reads, “Through the generosity of the Morton GameBall Run.” Pictured are some of the members of the planning committee, from left, MHS Boys Basketball Coach Jarrett Brown, Dana Hobson, Sheila Stephens, Deidra Ripka, Andrea White, Superintendent Lindsey Hall and Stacy Litersky. Committee members not pictured, Allie Anderson, Becky Christiansen, Marjorie Johnson, Clayton Monfre and Carol Jankowski.

In just three years, the Morton boys basketball team’s GameBall Run has raised more than $100,000 for Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

The hospital on April 21 unveiled an expression of its appreciation. Patient room 603 will now be known as the Morton GameBall Run room.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to share the impact of our donation dollars with the patients and their families and what the Morton basketball team has done in three years makes a true impact,” said Wendy Mitchell, executive director of the OSF Healthcare Foundation. “Their generosity to Children’s Hospital will live on.”

Stacy Litersky and Dana Hobson of Morton are co-chairpersons for the GameBall committee. They hatched the fundraising plan, along with basketball head coach Jarrett Brown, back in 2012.

“We wanted to create a fundraiser event and we approached coach Brown with the idea to see if he and the team were interested,” Litersky said. “Within 20 minutes we had an answer and we were off and running.”

The first event, held in January of 2013, raised about $20,000. Last year it grew to about $32,000, and this past season more than $51,000 was raised.

Morton school superintendent Lindsey Hall also attended the ceremony. All Morton schools also are involved in the fundraising campaign.

“It’s wonderful that we’re able to help the hospital that has helped so many kids and families,” Hall said.

“The amount of money they’ve raised in just three years is truly amazing,” hospital media relations specialist Shelli Dankoff said.

Brown also attended the ceremony.

“Really nice of the hospital to share their appreciation,” Brown said. “We’re quite proud to have our name on the room.”

Plans for the 2016 GameBall Run already are underway. That event will culminate when Morton hosts Metamora on Jan. 29.