By Katelyn Massarelli

Bloomingdale and Newsome High School’s rivalry is no secret to the community, especially when it comes to sporting events. Student sections and athletes exhilarated and determined to be the loudest and proudest school and there was no exception for the Bloomingdale versus Newsome faculty basketball game held last month at Bloomingdale High School. The final score was 64-50 with Bloomingdale coming out victorious.

The two schools were able to put their rivalry to good use for a charity that hit close to home for Bloomingdale Assistant Principal for Administration, Donald Peek. All the funds raised during the game went to Elianas’ Heart Warriors, a charity dedicated to helping the families of children effected by Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) by funding CHD research.

The charity was founded by Donald and his wife, Erica, and Karen Ruel in honor of Peek’s daughter, Eliana, who was born with CHD and died only three months later, as well as Ruel’s daughter, Eliana, who was born with the same condition and is now 4-years-old today.

“Running into [Ruel] who had a daughter with the same Congenital Heart Defect and name was meant to be,” Donald said. “[Eliana] is a living miracle every day.”

Bloomingdale and Newsome’s faculty spent three months putting together the event and faculty members apart of both teams spent time preparing for the game. From Bloomingdale’s faculty team was Physical Education Department Head and boys Basketball Head Coach Joe Willis, who utilized the time with his students to hone his and their skills in basketball. Social Studies teacher at Newsome High School, David Kaufman, who helped put the game together, prepared with a few fellow faculty members training in the weight room.

“[Newsome’s Faculty Team] is competitive and love the rivalry,” Kaufman said. “What makes it fun is the camaraderie of the students.”

Bloomingdale High School’s gym was flooded with support and school spirit for both school’s competing. The event raised $3,500.

“The basketball game was very humbling and the amount of support showed by both schools was truly amazing,” Peek said, “Many times I sat there and looked around and had to fight back my emotions. I knew my little angel up above was smiling down.”

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