Staff vs. students basketball game raises money for Westlake scholarships

The Westlake High School seniors basketball team defeated the Westlake Schools staff team.

Over 600 people recently attended Westlake Council of PTAs annual Dollar$ for Scholars event at Westlake High School to raise money for scholarships for graduating Westlake High School seniors.

Since 1968, Westlake Council has continued the proud tradition of awarding scholarships to deserving Westlake High School seniors who plan to pursue higher education at a college, university or technical school. Scholarships are awarded for traditional academic pursuits, as well as for the arts, STEM/technology, vocational (health/medical services, automotive, construction, culinary arts, etc.) and a life challenge.

The Westlake Council and its eight member PTAs raise funds for these scholarships in many ways, including programming, membership drives and the annual Dollar$ for Scholars event. Thanks to overwhelming support for Council and its member PTAs' fundraising efforts, Westlake Council of PTAs and its member PTA units awarded a total of $24,000 in scholarships to graduating Westlake High School seniors last May.

While the goal of Dollar$ for Scholars is to raise enough money for Council to award ten $1,000 scholarships, the main event and other activities make the evening a memorable, fun, family-friendly outing. 

The highlight of the evening was the basketball game where Westlake City School District (WCSD) teachers and staff faced off against Westlake High School (WHS) seniors in a perennial battle for bragging rights. Parents, students, and community members attended to cheer on their favorite teacher, principal or senior student. WHS senior Gianna Burns sang the national anthem before the tip-off, and Ned Lauver, WHS assistant principal, provided play-by-play announcements, while Brendan Zepp, WHS assistant athletic director, was the official scorekeeper. The evening also featured a dodgeball game between local heroes from the Westlake police and fire departments and the military vs. WCSD staff.

At halftime, Westlake's own Dreamin' Demons, a cheerleading squad of 4th through 6th grade girls coached by WHS cheerleaders, performed. 

For those not interested in basketball, the event had plenty of other activities to entice students and parents. Concessions provided a quick dinner or snacks, and in the WHS rotunda, an extensive array of silent auction baskets and raffle items were available, as well as raffle tickets for a $1,000 cash prize. Children's activities for $1 each, such as hair painting, face painting, poster making and mini basketball hoops, kept volunteers busy throughout the evening.

The success of Westlake Council of PTAs' annual Dollar$ for Scholars event is due to the tremendous support from its member PTA units and their parent volunteers, and the WCSD teachers and staff. Westlake Board of Education members also volunteered the night of the event, and community members donated their time for "sale" in the silent auction. Westlake Porter Public Library Director Andrew Mangels donated "Librarian for a Day"; and Superintendent Scott Goggin donated  "Pizza with the Superintendent." Todd Hopkins, WCSD treasurer, donated "Donuts with the Treasurer"; and WCSD school board president Joe Kraft donated "Pizza with the BOE President."

At the end of the evening, many happy parents and children left Westlake High School carrying a silent auction basket or raffle item. And, the WHS seniors basketball team triumphed over the WCSD staff team for the first time in many years in a very close game. Ms. Taylor Ratliff was named MVP for the staff team, and Tommy Lazevnick was named MVP for the senior student team.

Mary Essig

2017-2018 Westlake Council of PTAs President

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.01.2018