Fire eaters. Stilt walkers. Tailgate parties. And, of course, some basketball.
The 7th Annual Maroon Madness/Light the Night for Coaches vs. Cancer had it all and provided an electric start to one of the most anticipated sports seasons of the year. The night started off at 6 o'clock, with students holding a tailgate party in the parking lot, complete with hot dogs, music, and games. In addition, Elevation Burger grilled burgers for the first 250 fans to donate to Coaches vs. Cancer, and awesome performances by a stilt walker and fire performers both entertained and energized the crowd.
At 7, these activities ended and the Light the Night Walk commenced. With school construction complete, students walked the circumference of the Lower Merion High School campus, led by the LM drum line, bulldog mascots and tiki torch-bearing faculty members, including principal Sean Hughes. All participants were asked to donate $5 to Coaches vs. Cancer, with the first 250 students getting a t-shirt and glowstick to commemorate the evening.
This year, the Coaches vs. Cancer cause was very near and dear to the Lower Merion Aces family as former Aces basketball player and longtime Lower Merion supporter Charlie Schwab '82 passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on November 9th. As a result, the Lower Merion Aces dedicated last night’s event along with all future fundraising efforts this season to Charlie's memory and his extraordinary contributions to the Lower Merion community.
Following the walk, fans filed into the gym to watch the Aces boys and girls teams participate in a Maroon/White scrimmage. Some highlights included Raheem Hall winning the dunk contest with a soaring jam that took him high above teammate Emery Shiffraw, the tandem of junior guard Bryan Shapiro and student fan Albert Harris winning the three-point contest, and the always-intriguing dances of organizations such as the TSA and the Swim Team.
For the third consecutive year, the Aces welcomed Temple Owls basketball coach Fran Dunphy who shared remarks about the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative. This year’s awesome season launch highlight video was produced by Benji Dunaief '14. Special thanks to Wes Walker (DJ Scribe) for keeping the party going all night as well as Huntington Learning Center for sponsoring the always-popular Maroon Madness T-Shirts, designed by Noah Zuares '10. Thanks, too, to the more than 900 fans who participated in the evening and helped support a great cause.
Hopefully, this will be the first of many memorable nights for this year's Lower Merion Aces.
To view this year's season launch highlight video, click here.
For coverage of Maroon Madness by Main Line Times, including video, click here.