Updated: Mar 9, 2022
The Baldwin Middle School Gym was buzzing with excitement from Guilford Fund for Education’s (GFFE) Annual Bee Ball Tournament, an annual community fun-raiser that returned for the first time since 2020. The 3v3 basketball tournament has been an annual event since 2015 and serves as an excellent way to not only raise money and awareness of GFFE, but also brings Guilford students together in fun competition. From novices to travel players, 51 teams from grades 3-7 participated in this one-day event.
“Everyone was excited to be together again. From board members to volunteers to our student players, we almost forgot we were raising money,” says NiCole Schlagheck, GFFE Board Co-Chair. “GFFE funded various initiatives to support educators during Covid and now we get to go back to our roots supporting Guilford students through the funding of new and creative concepts in education.”
A new element this year was the educator awards. The winning boy and winning girl teams from each grade level dedicated their win to an educator from their school. Known for recognizing teachers semi-annually through the GFFE Star Awards, the organization wanted to find a way to get students more involved. Veena Kapadia, Co-Chair of the GFFE Board, shares “The kids were so excited to dedicate their win. Guilford is a community known for supporting each other and giving back, so we aren’t surprised the kids jumped on this opportunity to show their appreciation.” Honored educators were Mrs. Hill, Mr. Prescott, Miss Arabolos, Mrs. Habbas, Mr. Hammel, Mr. Ross, Mr. Zajac, Ms. Higgins, and Mr. Vitale.
The GFFE Bee Ball Tournament raised over $3,000 thanks to registrations, concessions and event sponsors Palumbo’s Automotive and Teape Training International. Jeff Hahn graciously donated pizza prizes and trophies and organized the referees. The funds will be used for approved grants, as well as invested for future students.
The next GFFE activity will be the Semi-Annual GFFE Star Awards that honor Guilford Educators with special deliveries during Teacher Appreciation Week. Stars may be purchased online. GFFE is also actively searching for volunteers to join the organization to help review grant proposals, to offer legal experience or who are technologically savvy.
This Year's Grade Winners:
Boys Grade 3 Finn Jacobson, Lucas Ports, Max Borelli, Dane Smith
Girls Grade 3 Mia Nunziato, Alessandra Marciniak, Isla Dubois, Emma Boyd
Boys Grade 4 Landon Diglio, Myles Loban, Brayden Dill
Girls Grade 4 Olivia Mahon, Reagan Klein, Leah Michalowski
Boys Grade 5 Corbin Kikosicki, Ryan Lynch, Jack Coyne
Girls Grade 5 Sinead Davenport, Gianna Canestri, Soraya Zide, Delaney Keefe
Girls Grade 6 Lyla Sellinger, Maya Daniels, Petal Gallagher
Boys Grade 6 Ethan Russo, Nolan McGowan, Noah Loban, Owen Steffen
Boys Grade 7 Pierson Schlagheck, Mason Spagone, Lucas Kharabadze