Support on the Court Celebrates Tenth Year
As seniors presented last Friday, December 2, during St. Johnsbury Academy Capstone Day, we were reminded how some of these projects live on well past graduation. Ten years ago, as part of her senior capstone project, Rebekah Balch Johnston, SJA class of 2012, organized a basketball scrimmage fundraiser called ‘Support on the Court.’ All the proceeds collected on that day were donated to the gas card program at Dartmouth Health Cancer Center North in St. Johnsbury.
The 10th annual fundraiser was held this past Saturday, December 3, at the St. Johnsbury Academy Alumni Gymnasium. The JV and Varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams played North Country Union High School (NCUHS). Admission at the door was by donation, and officials donated their paychecks to support the cause. The event raised $1,700. In keeping with tradition, SJA Athletic Director Alan Ruggles said, “It was a great day for ‘Support on the Court.’ We would like to thank the teams, coaches, and officials for their efforts on the court and the fans who generously supported the event from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer. A true team effort, many thanks to NCUHS Athletic Director Phil Joyal and the North Country athletes who joined the Academy in supporting a cause that has touched all of us in some way.”
When asked what it meant to see her fundraiser still going strong after ten years, Rebekah commented, “I am so happy that St. Johnsbury Academy has been able to continue this fundraiser. I now work closely with breast cancer patients on their reconstruction process as a physician assistant at the University of Vermont Medical Center and know that it requires a lot of support to go through treatment. I am proud to see this yearly contribution to the cancer center in St. Johnsbury and humbled to know just how far a senior capstone project can reach.”
A few years after Rebekah started her fundraiser, Jordan Cady, SJA class of 2015, as part of her senior capstone project, officially established the Sullycat Foundation in memory of her grandfather, Timothy Sullivan, who lost his battle with cancer. As part of his Capstone project in 2019, Jordan’s brother Jacob established the bylaws and website for the non-profit foundation, which raises thousands of dollars annually and then distributes it directly to families undergoing treatment.
Jordan shared a piece from their site, “Seeing him (our grandfather) go through the cancer treatment process was heart wrenching and tiresome, not only for him but for all his loved ones. Within those six months of treatment, his wife, along with the help of different family members and friends, took time away from their daily lives to care for him, get him to and from treatment, and help in any way they could. Tim was lucky to have the support of many caregivers. Sadly, not everyone has those same resources or strong support systems.”
Chrissy Carr, a Dartmouth Health Cancer Center North representative, said, “Most people are aware of the physical and emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis. However, along with that diagnosis can come financial stress. Traveling to treatments can be very costly. Some of our patients travel over an hour each way for treatment. Our transportation fund at Dartmouth Health Cancer Center North in St. Johnsbury helps alleviate that financial burden for our patients. On behalf of the staff and patients of Dartmouth Health Cancer Center North, thank you, St. Johnsbury Academy and the Sullycat Foundation, for the generous support.”
Shown in photo above:
Each year since the establishment of the Sullycat Foundation in 2015, the non-profit presents a check to ‘Support on the Court’ as part of SJA’s pre-season basketball scrimmages. Pictured from l to r: Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach Patrick Rainville, Dartmouth Health Cancer Center North representative Chrissy Carr, Sullycat Foundation’s Jordan Cady, Athletic Director Alan Ruggles, and Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach Jade Huntington.