On November 1 in the gymnasium, SBRHS senior Lauren Fitzpatrick held a Basketball three versus three tournament in the gymnasium to raise money for a bench in honor of a Somerset elementary school student.
“We raised money for Mason Sterne,” Fitzpatrick said, “He was the little boy in the summer that passed away on the bike path in Bristol. He didn’t stop and neither did the car. It was just a bad accident.”
Fitzpatrick said she and her friends Brendon Kerns and Devon Crosby came up with the idea for the event in their marketing class. “I knew we needed to do something for him [Mason],” Fitzpatrick expressed, “and I wanted to take on the role because I want to do event planning in the future.”
Along the way Fitzpatrick faced a few difficulties. She was on a time crutch with only had six weeks to coordinate everything for tournament. “I didn’t think we would have enough time, Ms. Ayer [her teacher] didn’t think we would have enough time, but we ended up pulling it together.” she relayed.
In addition, the football game that week was rescheduled the same day as the event, causing Fitzpatrick to have to find students to replace the football players who planned on volunteering. On the day of, one of the basketball teams failed to show which also caused some problems.
Luckily, Fitzpatrick was not alone, “Ms. Ayer was a huge help, along with the Ghilarducci’s. I had a massive amount of students help me as well,” she said.
The tournament had much more than the basketball games, including a buddy board where kids were able to write notes to Mason and his family as well as a cafe with pizza, snacks, and desserts. There were also basketballs on the other half of the gymnasium for those who could not play.
In the end, Austin Macek, Andrew Spellman, and Karoline Gajewski won the tournament. Fitzpatrick said that everyone had a good time. She also stated that the event raised over $8,000 and people are still donating. This surpassed the money needed to build the bench, and Fitzpatrick plans on donating the extra money to the jungle gym they are building at Chase Street Elementary School. The bench will be installed at that same school in the spring.
Fitzpatrick reflected on the event, “It was a good way to have a celebration of his life instead of another memorial of his death.”