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Basketball 'Wizards' Coming to Benefit Valerie Fund Project

Watchung Hills Valerie Fund Warriors preparing to face off against famous team.

A special basketball team is preparing to face off against the famous Harlem Wizards on May 18 at the school.

The game pitting the Wizards against the Watchung Hills Valerie Fund Warriors is a benefit for , and all proceeds will go to . It was organized after WHRHS junior John Draikiwicz, a former Valerie Fund patient, approached the school's All School Council about it. 

"The town-wide initiative gave me the perfect opportunity to give back to this wonderful cause," John said, "I was so happy at the enthusiasm expressed by the All School Council and its advisor, Mrs. Maureen Kelly, and their willingness to help me organize this event."

Tip off will be at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 each ($18 at the door)—you can reserve your spot on the Harlem Wizards' website until 7 p.m. May 17.

"We are priviledged to be part of this great cause the Valerie Fund that supports kids with cancer," Todd Davis, Harlem Wizards president said. "We hope to help raise a good deal of money as well as create a sense of joy that celebrates life and the effort to save kids."   

Warren Township Mayor Carolann Garafola announced that the month of May will be "Valerie Fund Pride Month" as part of a year of activities throughout the community for "Pride in Warren."  Schools, businesses, and civic groups in Warren will be combining efforts to raise $100,000 for The Valerie Fund.

Any questions about this event can be sent to John at jdraikiwicz@gmail.com.

The event continues the Wizard's history of community service—the team has traveled across the country since 1962, helping raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations, schools and foundations. 

The Valerie Fund was stablished in 1976 in memory of Valerie Goldstein, The Valerie Fund's mission is to provide support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders.  Families turn to The Valerie Fund because of the combination of medical care, counseling, and other services it provides.  The Valerie Fund Children's Centers comprise the largest network of healthcare facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders in New Jersey, and one of the largest in the nation.  There are seven Valerie Fund Children's Centers providing caring, comprehensive, state-of-the-art outpatient health care to more than 5,000 children and their families each year.  Patients receive far more than treatment for their physical illnesses.  Our philosophy is that to truly heal the children with whose care we are entrusted, we must treat them emotionally, socially, and developmentally, as well as medically.

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