The Florence Township School District and police department will be teaming up again this year to help families in need this holiday season.
For the past 10 years, the Florence school community and police have worked together to coordinate a charity basketball game several weeks before Christmas when participating members from each group face-off in a hoops match to raise money and collect donations of food and toys for locals in need.
This year’s game will be held on Dec. 17 at the Riverfront School, which is located at 500 E. Front St. Doors to the middle school gym will open at 6 p.m.
A “knock-out competition” is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. and opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is a $3 donation per person or, in lieu of a cash donation, attendees can bring a new, unwrapped toy or three non-perishable food items. There is no fee for participating students.
Officials said the event will also feature pictures with Santa, the Grinch and Olaf; face painting; concessions; a performance by the Florence Township Memorial High School and Florence Cheerleaders & Dance Club; announcement of the winter sports teams and spirit week winner; and a Freddie Flash vs. the Grinch dance-off competition.
The event is being held after what district officials said was a successful turnout last year, when it raised $1,400 along with donations of food and toys.
As members of the community came out to cheer on their local law enforcement and school faculty, they helped donate funds, which they said will be used to purchase items and food baskets for families in need around the township.
Superintendent of Florence Township Schools Donna Ambrosius said the charitable basketball game is one of the district’s “most important” events it does throughout the year.
“It really gives back to our families,” Ambrosius said. “It’s a fun night, but it gives back to our community. Having the community come out and cheering each other on – it’s a fun event.”