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Basketball Players’ Program Assists Local Youth

OSWEGO, NY – Adeline “Addy” Benjamin has a talent for crafting and designing.

Each year she makes “Tie Blankets” as gifts for friends and family for Christmas.

One of many tables of girls' league players making blankets for "Project Linus."
One of many tables of girls’ league players making blankets for “Project Linus.”

As a member of the St. Paul’s Leprechaun Travel Basketball (B-ball) League, Addy has seen great local support from the community for her B-ball league and wanted to “give something back.”

She also feels a strong desire to comfort local youth with severe personal and health issues.

So, with her mother’s (Alice) assistance, she formulated “Project Linus,” a plan to combine all these areas.

With the help and support of St. Paul’s Leprechaun Girls 5th – 8th grade teams, they met on January 20 at the Oswego AOH Hall in full force to make as many Tie Blankets as possible and distribute them.

 Some of the "Tie Blankets" the players made.
Some of the “Tie Blankets” the players made.

The B-ball league is providing the time and money needed for materials to make the blankets.

They will be brought to places like Oswego Hospital, schoolmates and other local youth.

On this non-tournament weekend, with background music playing, sheet pizza and soda they brought in for energy, dozens of team members, their coaches, and family worked in harmony to bless others with originally designed Tie Blankets.

Since not all members were able to attend, blankets made at members homes were brought in at the same time.

Coaches involved include Jim Muckey, Mike Gardner, Alice Benjamin, Dave Rahn, Mark Alton, Tim Mattison, Dawn Lilly, and Ed Pappa.

Some of the parents who chipped in were Dawn Combes, Laurie Krul, Diane Mattison, Sue Cook, Amy Galletta, Amy Devinny, and June Alton.

Another of the many tables of B-ball players working on one of 60 "Tie Blankets" for local youth."
Another of the many tables of B-ball players working on one of 60 “Tie Blankets” for local youth.”

One player that day approached her coach with sincere concern.

“Coach Muckey, we only have 46 blankets made,” she said.

“I’m thinking she’s just concerned about the number and wanting to achieve a greater number. So I told her that that’s a lot of blankets,” the coach said.

She comes back by saying, “But there are a lot more kids out there that have cancer.”

His response to her was, “You’re right. But if you want to change the world, you do it with random acts of kindness. And, we have 46 acts.”

Coach Muckey is very proud of the youth, their parents and coaches as they finished with 60 Acts of Kindness Tie Blankets.

“Being in this basketball family means more than learning about the game. It’s about learning to reach out to those around us and lifting them up. That’s sometimes teammates, sometimes opponents, and in this case other kids with severe illnesses. Great job everyone,” the coach added.

The league has its tournament this March.

1 Comment

  1. Team members: Sydney Alton, Haley Baker, Taylor Oleyourryk, Lydia Becker, Clara Culeton, Madison Rahn, Adeline Benjamin, Samantha Gardner, McKenzie Mattison, Mariah Galletta, Breeanna Race, Jackie Wawrzusin, Laura Bornheimer, Laurin Furlong, Grace Bruns, Mary Bornheimer, Kennedy Shurtleff, Elie Lisec, Nichole Oleyourryk, Rachel Krul, Michaela Bradshaw, Sarah Casaletta, Lauren DeVinny, Sofia Proano, Grace Isgar, Kelsey Combes, Nicole Pappa, Lea Kyle, and Caitie Lilly. This was created and worked by the kids for kids.

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