Men’s Basketball Team Volunteers with Fundraiser
The Chestnut Hill College men’s basketball team, which has a long-standing history of involvement and service to the community, recently assisted with a fundraiser in support of the education of the children of the late officer, Sgt. Robert Wilson III, who was murdered while trying to stop an armed robbery outside of a North Philadelphia GameStop earlier this year.
The event, which pitted 12 teams of law enforcement officers, including local police, fire and corrections, in a basketball tournament, was first brought to the attention of Griffins’ head coach, Jesse Balcer, after one of the team’s games against the University of the District of Columbia.
Balcer, who was a juvenile probation officer for the City of Philadelphia for eight-and-a-half years, instantly felt connected to the cause and jumped at the chance to be involved.
“Officer Michael Terry contacted me earlier this year after we played his son’s team,” says Balcer. “They were looking for a venue for this fundraiser and since my players and I have family members who are police officers, I thought it would be a nice way to give back.”
Officers and their families and community members from around the area were drawn to a packed Sorgenti Arena on the day of the tournament, in large part due to the efforts of Terry, who devoted many of his off-duty hours to inviting colleagues as well as distributing free tickets to kids on North Philadelphia street corners, according to a story published on philly.com.
Overall, Balcer says the day was “definitely a success” and that given the opportunity, he would certainly work with Terry and the Fraternal Order of Police, the event organizer, again.
“Chestnut Hill College was built on service to others and I think as coaches, we owe it to the community to get our teams involved, not because it is a requirement. but because it is what we do,” says Balcer. “Officer Wilson was killed trying to protect the community. Anyone who can assist his family should do so in gratitude for him giving his life to keep us safe.”
— Marilee Gallagher ’14
Read more about CHC Sports here.