Gateway: Sports

Gig Harbor, Peninsula girls basketball booster clubs team up for FUNdraiser

Gig Harbor sophomore to-be Brynna Maxwell, left, and Peninsula sophomore to-be Belle Frazier have grown up playing basketball together and play AAU hoops together in the offseason.
Gig Harbor sophomore to-be Brynna Maxwell, left, and Peninsula sophomore to-be Belle Frazier have grown up playing basketball together and play AAU hoops together in the offseason. Courtesy

The girls basketball booster clubs for Gig Harbor are Peninsula high schools are hoping folks in the community will hop onto the Gig Harbor Trolley and shop for a worthy cause on June 23.

Lou Willett, mother of Gig Harbor High junior to-be Maddie Willett, first came up with the FUNdraiser idea with her husband while on a Labor Day weekend day of Gig Harbor exploration last year with seven or eight other couples.

“We took the trolley all afternoon and evening,” Willett said. “We all had a blast. We’re always looking for ways to have a bigger fund available for the coach and for the team.”

So Willett got to work, contacting Gig Harbor businesses and generating interest. On June 23, 34 local merchants will be offering exclusive discounts to people who purchase the $15 event bracelet, including 30 percent off at J. Jill, 20 percent off at Blue Agave Mexican Grill, 15 percent off at Moctezuma’s, 30 percent off at Clark’s Jewelry, 15 percent off beer at Wet Coast Brewing, and many more.

The bracelet can be purchased on Eventbrite.com, by searching “GHHS girls basketball” on the site. The Gig Harbor Trolley is available to ride all day for just $1. Merchants in Uptown, Point Fosdick, Kimball Drive, the Finholm District and the downtown waterfront area are all participating in the event.

“The community has just been overwhelmingly generous and really into it,” Willett said.

Pierce Transit, the Downtown Waterfront Alliance, Uptown, the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, DPI Print, Allovus and the city of Gig Harbor have donated time and resources to help get the event up and running.

The proceeds will be split evenly between the Gig Harbor girls basketball booster club, Peninsula’s girls basketball booster club and Food Backpacks 4 Kids, a charity that helps hungry children and families in the community. While the Gig Harbor booster club is responsible for most of the planning, it wanted to make sure Peninsula was included, as well.

“We’re competitors on the court, community off the court,” Willett said. “There’s no reason why the community shouldn’t support both programs at the same time. Merchants are willing to support both programs. We’re just trying to build community. Let’s support each other. Why not raise money together?”

Adding the local charity was icing on the cake.

“Food Backpacks 4 Kids, they’re doing a wonderful thing for our community, providing nutritious, healthy food for kids for the weekend,” Willett said.

Willett said they haven’t sold as many bracelets as she’d like, and is hoping the community steps up to the plate before the event. The goal is to sell 500 bracelets.

“That would give us $7,500, and we could give $2,500 to each group,” Willett said. “But whatever we sell is more than we had when we started. The donations we received from various business and groups to get this going — I’d like to see us raise more than what they’ve put into it.”

Willett said she’s excited for the event and hopes it turns out to be a big success.

“It’s awesome so many businesses are involved,” she said. “Now we just have to get the consumers on board.”

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