Hoops For Hope raises $7,000 each for two school members in need

A community fundraiser presented both Gracie Olvera Rowland's family and Rick Speer with a $7,000 check to help with medical expenses.

Posted: Feb. 3, 2018 8:10 PM
Updated: Feb. 4, 2018 11:47 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI)-- Harrison High School paid it forward to two community members in need.

Hoops For Hope held events earlier this week, including a high school talent show, to help collect money donations for financial and emotional support.

Student council advisor Jennifer Collicott says the extra hours after school were worth it.

"I'm working another 15 to 20 hour above and beyond what I usually do but I feel like it's worth while because I'm doing something for somebody else." Collicott said.

This year, the proceeds went to Gracie Olvera Rowland and Rick Speer.

Rowland is a 9th grader with chromosome disease. Earlier this week, she had a liver transplant and is currently recovering from surgery.

Rick Speer has parkinson's disease. After working for the high school for 18 years, he says he never expected to be chosen as a recipient.

The money will be used to help cover medical expenses. He says the medication and hospital bills have added up quickly.

Spear says all the thanks in the world could never repay the school for this surprise.

Gracie's mom, Stephanie Rowland, came to accept the donation on her behalf.

"We didn't know about Hoops For Hope until they asked us to be a recipient. This is really going to help us out with these unexpected expenses." Rowland said.

Both recipients walked away with a $7,000 check to help pay for surgeries, doctors visits and medications. Hoops for Hope will continue to raise money throughout the month of February.

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