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High School Basketball:
Olympic-Cape Challenge Basketball Weekend Held To Benefit The Shoot Down Cancer Foundation

Sunday, February 17, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

This weekend, a special event took place on the Rutgers-Camden University Campus to fight against childhood cancer. The Olympic Cape Challenge along with the Shoot Down Cancer Foundation held their second annual basketball event to raise money for the Oncology Division of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There were ten teams from both the Olympic and Cape-Atlantic Conferences participating in the two day event to help in their support of expanding the awareness of the Shoot Down Cancer Foundation. This foundation became a co-sponsor and primary beneficiary of the Olympic Cape Challenge and has donated over $51,000 before today's event. The Olympic Conference again for the second year in a row came out on top winning 6 of the 10 games over the weekend.

David and Beth Catalana started the "Shoot Down Cancer Foundation" in 1998 along with the Saint Augustine Prep boy's basketball program. The Hermits Shoot Down Cancer Program, as it was known then, received pledges from individuals and corporations for every three-point shot made by the Hermit varsity basketball team during the year. In that first season, the Hermits made 140 three-point shots and raised over $20,000. With season number two, the varsity managed 134 three-pointers and another $13,000 in pledges.

In December of 1995, the Catalana's 15-month old son Garrett was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer. For the better part of the next six months, the family spent much of their time at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Thanks to the efforts of the people at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Garrett was successfully treated and his cancer has been in remission since May of 1996.

When the St. Augustine basketball program was looking for a cause to support prior to the 1998 season, Children's Hospital was a natural. David Catalana had been an assistant coach with the Hermits for the past 15 years and his cause became their cause. With the full support of the school and the basketball program, this has been a great success.

The Shoot Down Cancer Foundation has now expanded to outside just the St. Augustine family. With their involvement in the Olympic-Cape Challenge, the Foundation will be able to make more sizable contributions to the Oncology Division of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to help in their fight against childhood cancer.

Last year, the Olympic Conference came out on top winning 5 of the 8 contests. Olympic Conference winners included Cherry Hill West, Edgewood, Washington Township, Woodrow Wilson and Camden Catholic. Middle Township, Holy Spirit and St. Augustine were victorious for the Cape Atlantic League.

Once this weekend was over, the Olympic Conference teams came out on top with victories from Woodrow Wilson, Highland, Eastern, Camden Catholic, Pennsauken and Winslolw Township. For the Cape-Atlantic winners, Egg Harbor Township, Millville, St. Augustine and Holy Spirit came out on top. The true winners were the kids benefiting from the money raised from this event.

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