Big Turnout for Basketball Tourney Mirrors Hartleys’ Big Hearts

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Hartley boys grandparents “Boss” and “Mima,” along with Lisa and Cole during a break in the tournament at Eastern Greenwich Civic Center on Thursday night. Credit: Leslie Yager

Over the past nine years, the Hartleys’ Harts4Jack Hoops tournaments have grown from 30 to over 150 participants, and has raised over $50,000 for various charities, including $15,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of the Hartley family’s own “Mima.”

This Thursday night 66 boys congregated at at Eastern Greenwich Civic Center for the annual Harts4Jack Hoops Tournament. Spencer Hartley personally invited all his friends for a night of hoops for a great cause.

Spencer’s brother Cole, a sophomore at GHS, said it’s easy to get a big turnout. “All my friends at school look forward to the tournament. People are happy to donate to a benefit for a good cause.”

By the end of the night, Kyle Hartley announced that $4,000 had been raised for Make-A-Wish Connecticut.

While taking a short break from the tournament, Cole visited with his grandfather, “Boss,” and “Mima,” who has been in remission for several years since her battle with Leukemia. Mima and Boss, who also goes by the name Don, sat in in the lobby with a view of the tournament, while at the same time keeping an eye on their youngest of 18 grandchildren who kept attempting to crawl toward the basketball courts.

Reflecting on the first Hartley fundraiser, Lisa said her sons raised money for family friend “Jack,” who was diagnosed with Autism and needed an assistance dog. The dog, “Poppy,” a black lab, has been a calming influence, and made a huge difference for Jack. Lisa said the dog even goes to school with Jack, drawing him out and serving as a conversation starter.

Though Thursday was Spencer’s tournament, Cole and Brett’s fundraiser is just weeks away.  The Hartleys’ are expecting at least 100 for Brett & Cole’s tourney on April 2.  Between Spencer’s fundraiser and that of Cole and Brett, the Hartleys hope to raise $10,000 in order to be matched with a child has a life threatening illness. The Hartleys are again working with Make-A-Wish Foundation Connecticut.

And, lest any reader think the Hartleys’ sister, Lacey, hasn’t pitched in over the years, they would be mistaken. “She did a lemonade stand at Old Greenwich School where she raised $500,” Lisa said. Lacey is a 4th grader at Riverside School.

Last year, the Hartleys were able to raise over $10,000 for Make-A-Wish CT, which helped grant the wish of six year old Henry Baker from Westport.  As a result, after 40 continuous months of chemotherapy to battle Leukemia, Henry was able to take a well-deserved trip to the Cayman Islands with his parents and three sisters.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.04.54 AMThe Hartleys are very grateful to sponsors who have been on board since 2007, including Frank Carpentieri of Garden Catering, Richard Fulton of Chillybear who donates t-shirts, Rob Guerrieri of Upper Crust Bagel Co., Longford’s Ice Cream, Ed Clark Trophies, Rob Burton Family who donates UCONN football and basketball tickets for the Tourney raffle every year. Newer sponsors, also greatly apprecaited, include Corbos Corner Deli, Riverside Square, Pomodoro, Pizza Post, Arcuri’s, Rei Napoli and Gofer Ice Cream.

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Cole Hartley at Eastern Greenwich Civic Center during the Harts4Jack Hoops Tournament on March 12, 2015. Credit: Leslie Yager

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Familiar figure Rich Fulton who runs ChillyBear with Mack Fulton, a 5th grader at Old Greenwich School and Lucy Fulton an 8th grader at Eastern. Credit: Leslie Yager

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Among all the boys playing basketball on Thursday night were the trio of 7th graders from Eastern Middle School, Jessie Marzullo, Jojo Moses and Kate Loughlin. Credit: Leslie Yager

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Chris Genaro, 7th grader at Western, Jake Mondschein a 7th grader at Eastern and JD Todd, a 7th grader at Eastern Middle School. Credit: Leslie Yager

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See also:

Harts4Jack Hoops Tourney Makes Wishes Come True


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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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