Let the Madness begin

Annual Pine Valley March Madness event set

Submitted Photo The alumni basketball games are always a big part of Pine Valley’s annual March Madness event.

PINE VALLEY — The 5th Annual March Madness event will take place Sunday, March 24 at Pine Valley High School. Admission is free and doors open at 1 p.m., where there will be a carnival with concessions all day, and a Chinese Auction that will announce the winners at 6 p.m.

Event Coordinator and teacher at Pine Valley, Terry Mansfield, gave a brief history of the event in an email to the OBSERVER. “I teach kindergarten and when one of our kindergarten students was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013, we (Community In Action – CIA) knew we had to do something to help this little boy and his family. Buckets for Brett was held in 2014 and we raised $10,000.

“Since then, The March Madness Fund has been designed to help any Pine Valley student that has a serious or life-threatening illness, was injured in a serious accident, has lost a parent or has lost their home to a fire or natural disaster. Our goal is to create a fund large enough to help many students and their families throughout the school year, not only in March.”

Mansfield continued, “CIA is a PTO, which consists of parents, teachers, administration and other community members. CIA is sponsored by the Pine Valley School District. To date, Community In Action has raised over $25,000 for the March Madness Fund.”

The schedule of basketball games is as follows: 1:30 p.m. – Grades 7-12 basketball tournament, 3 p.m. – Alumni basketball games begin and 5 p.m. – NYS Troopers vs. Sheriff’s Department. “While the alumni games are always a big draw and fun to watch, we are really excited this year because the NYS Troopers have offered to take on the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Sheriff’s Departments in a basketball showdown,” said Mansfield of the games. “Also, students in grades 7-12 have the opportunity to play in their own March Madness Tournament.”

Submitted Photo Kids get balloon art made for them at a previous March Madness event at Pine Valley High School.

Mansfield also commented on the positive outcomes the March Madness event produces. “There are so many positive outcomes from this annual event, but most importantly we have raised over $25,000 in the last four years to help our students and their families during difficult times,” said Mansfield. “It is also uplifting to see the comradery of our alumni players renewing old friendships with past teammates and also seeing our student body get involved and volunteering for a worthy cause. This is also a great opportunity to help bridge the gap between our local communities and our school community.”

The event, which is in many ways two events in one, is sponsored by Community In Action and the Pine Valley Central School District. “While the basketball tournament, alumni games, Chinese auction and concessions are sponsored by CIA and all money collected will be donated to the March Madness Fund, the PV Class of 2021 will also be hosting a carnival on the same day,” said Mansfield of the carnival. “We thought having both events on the same day would be a benefit to everyone and make for a very successful day. Money collected from the carnival goes towards class expenses, like their senior trip. The carnival is from 1-5 p.m. and includes face-painting, carnival games and ‘minute to win it’ games.”

All proceeds will benefit the March Madness Fund, dedicated to supporting Pine Valley students. “None of this could happened without the help from countless volunteers, especially from CIA members and the Pine Valley community including faculty, staff, students and parents from Pine Valley who are always willing to donate their time or merchandise to this worthy event,” said Mansfield of the community support. “We receive many donations locally in Cherry Creek and South Dayton, but it always nice to get the support from other surrounding communities like Fredonia, Gowanda, Forestville, Silver Creek and Jamestown. We also have a school board and administration that is willing to work with CIA so we can run this event every year and also offer many other opportunities to our students, families and community members.”

If anyone wishes to make a donation or provide an item for the Chinese auction, please contact Terry Mansfield at tmansfield@pval.org.