For the 16th straight year, members of the NHTI community will come together to raise money for the Zech DeVits Memorial Equipment Fund.
And since each of the previous 15 fundraising events have involved what can only be described as a very entertaining game of wheelchair basketball, there’s no reason to change things up now.
On Thursday at 4 p.m., members of the NHTI faculty and staff, along with players from event sponsors Granite State Independent Living and the N.H. Spinal Cord Association will take the court against current student teams for a very good cause. So it won’t matter how few points are scored and how many air balls are shot; it’s all about how much money is brought in.
The benefit was created in 2002 to help DeVits, a former NHTI student at the time. Born with gigantism, a rare genetic condition, and skeletal dysplasia that caused him to reach a height of 7 feet, 8 inches, DeVits had used a wheelchair since the age of 6, and the first fundraiser evolved as part of a project in which students helped raise money to refurbish his wheelchair-accessible van.
DeVits passed away at age 22 in 2005, just weeks before graduating from NHTI with an associate degree in addiction counseling, but the school continues to hold the event in his memory, raising money to help purchase assistive technology for students with disabilities.
Proceeds from the game, as well as the accompanying silent auction and 50/50 raffle, will be matched by the NHTI Student Senate. Last year’s event raised close to $2,000, but let’s see if we can top that.
The silent auction will include items like two tickets to Pats Peak, a voucher for a one-night stay at a Holiday Inn, as well as gift cards, jewelry and items geared toward college students.
The event is open to the public and admission is by donation (free for NHTI students).
Following the event, the NHTI men’s and women’s basketball teams will play a doubleheader against Southern Maine Community College at 6 and 8 p.m., with the women playing first.