Police, teens and firefighters hit the basketball court this fall for the Hoops for Food event, collecting non-perishable food items for HopeLink’s Redmond food bank program. The Police had two teams, Fire had one team and the teens had three teams with one of those made up of Redmond High School basketball players. They had come down because they heard that they would be able to play against police officers and “wanted to take them on”.
The battle on the court was fierce with single elimination rounds. As the brackets narrowed the competition became more intense. The incentive was the winning team gets dinner prepared by the losers.
The final round was between Police and Fire. It was a back and forth game with the score tied at times. In the final two minutes, the Redmond Firefighters pulled ahead and were crowned the champs.
Jake Whitten, teen captain said, “It was fun to see sports activities at the Old Fire House and it was especially fun to bring together Redmond teens, fire fighters and police officers for some friendly competition. I plan to continue training for my next chance to take them on again in 2010”. Jake was the lead on the project and thought this was a great way to bring together groups that would not normally interact, make it fun and benefit the community.
Torey Cahn the teen sports announcer stated, “This all couldn’t have happened without the great work of Jake Whitten. It was a fun event.”
About 20 teens and adults with shovels, trowels and strong backs went to work at Farrell McWhirter Farm this past month removing invasive species such as blackberries and planting native trees and shrubs. The Redmond Youth Partnership Advisory Committee (RYPAC) recruited teens in Redmond to help with the Green Redmond initiative to take care of our park lands. Last year they also worked at Farrell McWhirter Farm removing plants and this year saw the fruits of their labors when they went back.
Some comments from the teens are, “It was so much fun, I have never planted a tree before” and “Can we do this again?”
The teens enjoyed the work and learned the value of taking care of park lands for the future. The project was developed by RYPAC and supported by REI of Redmond and the Cascade Land Conservancy, which taught the participants about removal and planting.