Members of the Thornton Academy girls basketball team wore special pink jerseys on the night of the Hoops for Hope fundraiser on Feb. 1. The team raised $25,000 this year. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SACO — The Thornton Academy girls’ basketball program continued an important tradition earlier this year when the Golden Trojans held their fourth annual Hoops for Hope event at Linnell Gymnasium.
This year’s event, which was held on Feb. 1, raised $25,000 and brought the four-year total for the Hoops for Hope events to more than $100,000.
Thornton Academy coach Eric Marston began the fundraiser in 2015 after being inspired by his wife’s battle with cancer and the support that their family received from the community.
“When we started Hoops for Hope in 2015, I never imagined our program’s fundraising total would hit the $100,000 mark in just four years,” Marston said. “It is truly a testament to the volunteers and players who work tirelessly each year for this important cause.  We are so thankful for the efforts of all those involved.”
The money raised directly benefits cancer patients and their families. This financial assistance is provided in many forms: payment of medical and utility bills, gift cards, gas cards, purchase of wigs, and other support for families while battling cancer. Young women from many grade levels participate in the fundraising.
“Every year we are absolutely astounded by the fundraising done by the Thornton Academy girls basketball program — from 3rd graders to 12th graders and everyone in between. Their efforts have been nothing short of amazing,” Marston said. “The girls understand the importance of their work. They know this money does so much for so many. Their dedication to this cause speaks volumes about not only the girls themselves but their parents and the community as a whole.”
Not only did the event raise thousands of dollars, but the Thornton Academy squad scored a crucial late-season victory over the talented Windham Eagles, 46-45. The win was a high point of season which saw the Trojans struggle in the wins and losses column.
“In what was certainly a down year for us in terms of wins, our pink game victory against a very good Windham team was easily the highlight of our season,” Marston said. “I think the combination of Hoops for Hope, senior night and playing in front of a large crowd, gave the girls that little extra motivation they needed to pull out a one point overtime win.”

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