Hoops for Hope was started in 2006 as a way for a family to help raise more funds and awareness for the fight against cancer. Diane Brumwell was in the fight for her life against a disease that affects so many individuals and the ones they love, when her two sons participated in a charity basketball tournament which was a fundraiser for The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Ryan and Jason saw an opportunity for them to host an event that could possibly raise some funds and could be a way to get together with others who have also been affected by cancer, all while doing something they loved, playing basketball.Hoops for Hope was started in 2006 as a way for a family to help raise more funds and awareness for the fight against cancer. Diane Brumwell was in the fight for her The first event brought a group of friends, family, and local bus drivers together for a fun filled day of basketball and a night of icing our wounds and celebrating the people that were fighting the tough battle of cancer. It was a great event and together we were able to raise $4,500 for the ACS.
The following July, just three short months after the event, Diane's fight with cancer ended. She had battled the disease for over three years and left behind some very motivated individuals who didn't want others to have to feel the heartache that they felt when they lost their mother/wife/friend to cancer. The tournament was renamed The Diane Brumwell Memorial "Hoops for Hope" and the quest for a cure took on a whole new energy and enthusiasm.
After a lot of research on the various cancer fighting organizations, Ryan and Jason Brumwell decided that The V Foundation for Cancer Research as well as Stand Up to Cancer were the two organizations that were putting the most money (100% of all in-kind donations) directly into research which they felt would be the greatest way towards a cure. The V Foundation has a big following in the sports world and it's founder, Jim Valvano, inspired the brother's through his Arthur Ashe acceptance speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards, that this was the organization for them.
Today the tournament has expanded to include over 20 Men's and Women's teams annually who have come together over the past fourteen years to raise over $425,000 in the fight against cancer.
The entry fee for each team is a minimum $100 per player donation which the team members are expected to raise and turn in upon check-in at the event. The team that raises the most money is awarded The Diane Brumwell "HOPE" Award. Hoops for Hope also features a non-typical All-Tournament Team with plaques being awarded to the five players who raise the most money and MVP going to the individual who raises the most. In 2015 the All-Tournament Team raised over $10,000 on their own!
Another big draw for the tournament is the silent auction which consists of items donated by organizations and individuals all over the country. Past items have included autographs from Peyton Manning, Terry Bradshaw, President Jimmy Carter, Emmit Smith, different sports equipment signed by teams such as the UNC Tar Heels, Duke Blue Devils, Tampa Bay LIghtning, the MLB All-Stars, paintings, books signed by great authors and coaches such as Clive Cussler, John Wooden, Lute Olsen and many more items from so many fantastic people that help support our fundraiser every year!
SHOOTING FOR A CURE
"Shooting for a Cure" is an event we have started at our home winter sporting activities including boys and girls basketball games as well as boys hockey. This fundraiser started last year mid basketball season and was done as a half time entertainment event as well as a fundraiser for Hoops for Hope and The V Foundation. At the basketball games we sell numbered tickets for a chance to get three attempts at prizes at half time of that nights game. Ticket's cost $1 a piece and if your number is drawn you get three shots at the basket, each of which can win you different prizes. Winners first shoot a free throw and if they make it they win a slice of pizza. The second shot is from half court for a $20 gift certificate to TNJ's (a local restaurant) or Eagle Square (a local gas station), and finally the thrid attempt is from 3/4 court (the opposite free throw line) and if that night's winner is able to make this shot they receive half of the progressive pot (the money from the ticket sales throughout all the season until someone makes the shot or the season ends). If no one makes the shot by the end of the season, the pot is split 50/50 between the boys/girls basketball team and Hoops for Hope.
A new community, Lester Prairie, MN, has now joined in our "Shooting for a Cure" event this year as well, with Athletic Director/GBB Coach/GVB Coach Blaine Walstrom, jumping on board and bringing this simple to do fundraiser to a whole new area for us! As with any new fundraiser it takes a while for it to catch on, but Lester Prairie and Mr. Walstrom did a great job raising $100 in their first year of the event and we look for even greater things coming out of this very giving community in the years ahead!
This was our first year trying the event at the local high school hockey games and we were very fortunate to find a fantastic young man, Zach Landman, who ran the event for us. At these games contestants could purchase a puck at the door from Zach with a number on it. In between the 2nd and 3rd periods contestants were then allowed to "chuck their puck" towards center ice with the owner of the puck closest to the center winning half of the nightly pot. This following year we will also be introducing a skill shot event where the nightly winner would get a shot from the Blue Line into an open net for a slice of pizza or gift certificate and then a more difficult shot into a small hole cut out of a sheet of plywood from the Red Line for half of a progressive pot.
Over the years many other events have helped to continue to make this event a continued success. Many individuals contribute in new ways each year that continues to surprise us and make us so happy to be part of this wonderful event each year. A staple of the event since the innaugural year has been hair donations to Locks of Love. The first event featured Diane's son, Jason, shaving his head and donating his flowing locks to the organization. The donation was made to help others dealing with hair loss due to cancer and other diseases, as well as make Jason's mom very happy as she didnt' think that much of her son having longer hair than her daughters!
The event continues today with Rachel Largis spear heading the donation drive each year. Rachel lost both of her parents to cancer and has been one of the biggest supporters of Hoops for Hope, organizing several fund raising events for Hoops for Hope each year.
In 2014 Rachel was joined by Nicole Hanson who has also dealt with heartache due to cancer and these two individuals (along with their husbands and children) have come up with events such as bake sales, Mohawks for Money (where they auction off the rights to shave individuals heads, beards, etc.) and each year they come up with new ways to raise even more money!
In 2013 Hoops for Hope was treated to a very special speaker when a local resident, Ann Piersol, spoke to guests at the tournament about getting registered with an organization called Be The Match. This organization matches individuals who need bone marrow transplants with potential donors and was searching for a donor for Ann when they discovered that her brother was a match. That transplant helped save Ann's life and she wanted the rest of the world to know how easy it was to get registered and how much easier the donation process had become over the years.
Shortly after the tournament, another family friend was contacted that he had matched with an individual in Europe. Danny had gotten himself on the registry when another local resident had been looking for possible bone marrow donors some years ago. Danny's journey through the donation process can be read about through his wife's blog chronicaling the event here.
Inspired by both Ann and Danny, we decided to host a Be The Match donor drive during our 2014 tournament. WE had over 40 people join the registry through our event and as of this posting three individuals have been contacted about being potential matches for indivduals who need to receive a transplant.
Hoops for Hope Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by raising funds for cancer research. We seek to make a difference by generating support on both a local and national level.