Peninsula High raises over $1,000 in charity basketball game

of the GatewayNovember 22, 2013 

Peninsula student Riley Wynn attacks the hoop for a layup against the staff

JON MANLEY — Gateway Photo

If you've ever seen the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” you would know that Drew Carey starts it off by saying, “Welcome to 'Whose Line is it Anyway?,' the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter.” Well, Peninsula held a students vs staff charity basketball game Friday night, and the students won 685 to 438. It may not seem like the points mattered much, but they did. The score tally was ridiculous because the event's purpose was to raise money for Seattle Children's Hospital. Fans could donate money to either team, and every dollar donated equaled a point for the team. The event was the brainchild of three PHS students—juniors Josie Self, Sophie Alvestad, and Kaitlin Flanigan.

“We wanted to raise money for them (Seattle Children's) because it's a local charity, and it could incorporate all our community so that they have something to relate to,” Self said. “It's going to the program at the Seattle Children's Hospital where people can't afford insurance. One of their main dreams is for children to be healthy all the time, and have a cure for cancer. They have a lot of research programs to find cancer solutions. We just thought it was really cool what they stood for.”

Before the game, Self said they were hoping to raise over $500. The event raised over $1,000, shattering expectations.

“We really focus on service, not because we want to collect hours because it's a requirement, but because it's something that we just want to instill in the hearts of our students,” said principal Tim Winter. “This is a great example of three kids getting together with an idea to make a difference, and then you see all these other people take part in it. I think it says a lot about the students in this school and the staff in this school. I'm just proud of tonight, it was just a great event.”

Athletic director Phil Willenbrock said he had never seen a crowd that big for a charity game that charged admission.

“Our students came out, the community came out, it was a really neat deal,” he said. “Three kids started with an idea, and here we are. We'll be able to contribute some good money to a great cause tonight, so it's really cool.”

As far as the actual game was concerned, Willenbrock dominated in the post, taking advantage of the undersized student team. The students' coach Nolan Winter eventually got so fed up with his team's effort, he stormed into the locker room, took off his suit and tie, and subbed himself into the game. Unfortunately, Winter came in cold and tried to launch deep threes without much luck.

“I guess my head wasn't really in it,” Winter said. “I was still in coaching mode. I really wanted everyone to score, but our assistant coach wasn't putting in the right people who needed to score. I was just kind of thinking about that and throwing up shots.”

Even with Winter in the game for the students, the staff continued feeding the beast, and Willenbrock hit a clutch layup late in the game to seal the non-donation based win in points.  

“It's been a while,” Willenbrock said. “I'm coming off a bum finger, so I had to tape that up. I didn't quite know how my right hand would be tonight. I had to rely on the left.”

While the staff may have got the win in the final minutes, the students came out on top in donations, and everyone felt like a winner afterward.

Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at jon.manley@gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.

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