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Caldwell-West Caldwell Students Net Proceeds of Harlem Wizards Fundraiser

Caldwell-West Caldwell Education chairman: 'It was one of those moments that make you proud to be part of such a supportive community.'

“King” Arthur Lewis and other Wizards took time to sign autographs after the game. / Photo credit: Christine Corliss
“King” Arthur Lewis and other Wizards took time to sign autographs after the game. / Photo credit: Christine Corliss

Written by Teresa Akersten

What happens when you put a bunch of principals and teachers in gym shorts and match them up against a team of professional basketball pranksters?

You get a “slamtastic” good time!

The James Caldwell High School gymnasium was filled to capacity Sunday for a basketball game between the Harlem Wizards and the CWC SuperStars, a team of faculty members and community leaders assembled for the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation fundraiser.

The final score may have been 81-70 Wizards, but the winners of the day were the students of Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools, who will benefit from the proceeds raised through sponsorships, the sale of tickets, merchandise and refreshments, and a Tricky Tray and 50/50 raffle.

"It was one of those moments that make you proud to be part of such a supportive community,” said CWCEF Chairman Mary Ann Campion. “Twenty-four players (many teachers and administrators), three referees and a pool of volunteers joined together at JCHS on a Sunday for a memorable afternoon. Thanks to the efforts of the CWCBOE (and two wonderful custodians), the high school was the perfect venue.”

“Thank you also to the sponsors and advertisers who supported the journal. Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all who attended," Campion said. "Our only regret is that we were not able to allow everyone admission to what became a sold-out event."

Those brave enough to face the professional Wizards, who are  known for their “trick hoopz and alley oops,” included Grover Cleveland Middle School Principal James “Downtown Jimmy” Brown, Wilson School Principal Scott “Show Time” Keena, Jefferson School Principal Tim “Tres” Ayers, and Lincoln School Principal Adam “A-Bomb” Geher—who sunk one from the three-point line.

The SuperStars were also represented by middle school teachers Amanda “Scrappy” Keenan, Rachel “The Beast” Kelly, Trevor “T-MAC” McLaughlin, Ryu “Wheels” Saito, and Sheila “Buckets” Cuccinelli, as well as Washington School teachers Kaitlyn “Kate the Great” Kerrigan, Erica “The Rock” Brock, Samantha “Slam I Am” Leone, and Peter “The Greek” Protogiannis, as well as custodian Dominick “Da King” Barone and school parent Mitch “House of” Payne.

Rounding out the CWC SuperStars’ roster were Jefferson School teacher James “The Wizard Hunter” Curran, Lincoln School teacher Jeff “Not Scott” Stiefbold, world language teacher Martin “Hot Hands” Rodriguez, violin teacher William “Upside” Downey, physical education teacher Sheila “Zigzagging” Zeman, Wilson School parent Jeff “All World” Weinstock, CWCEF Trustee Darren “High Flying” Fusaro, Caldwell Councilman Ed “Scissor Hands” Durkin, and community volunteer Rick “Draw McGraw” Alonso.

In between their numerous antics, including skits and stints dancing with members of the audience, the Wizards wowed the crowd with fancy dribbling, spinning basketballs and slam dunks.

The successful event was run by a volunteer committee, chaired by JoLynn Ferrante.

The Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 in funding to CWC schools. For more information, visit www.cwcef.org.

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