In years prior to COVID, resident John Hanson hosted an annual basketball tournament to raise funds for CASA, however; this year he used his creativity to host a socially distant fundraiser that proved to exceed his expectations.
Instead of having players come in contact on the court, Hanson ran a video game tournament, in honor of his friend Ciaran Dillon, who lost his life at the young age of 21-years-old. With the help of Ben Spinazzola, Jake Mckinnon, and Matt Pisani, Hanson was able to raise $1200 for CASA, which he presented to Executive Director LeighAnn Eruzione last week.
“I know our board, staff and youth are so grateful for his support,” said Eruzione. “The world as we know it has been drastically changed by this pandemic and many are feeling isolated and alone, particularly those that struggle with substances and mental health needs. To know that others are rallying around each other and are thinking of CASA and the youth of our community, is special.”
Hanson named the tournament Ciaran War Zone and received a surprisingly high response. After a server was created, participants were able to sign in online and compete.
“The event was unreal, the support I got from everybody helping to keep Ciaran’s memory alive was heartfelt,” said Hanson. “The tournament was for fun but it was also to remember Ciaran and his family and to spread awareness. This doesn’t have to happen to another person, you are not alone, there is help.”