The annual battle between teachers at two Upper Arlington middle schools will return April 27, with organizers hoping to further the fight against cancer.

Teachers from Hastings and Jones middle schools will lace up their sneakers for the 11th time – and possibly adorn themselves with pink wigs or other accessories – for the Hoops for a Cure basketball game.

The game, which also features students from both schools who spell teachers for playing time, will take place at Upper Arlington High School, 1650 Ridgeview Road. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

“It is a great cause and a great way for teachers to connect with the community,” said Kelli Leinbaugh, a math teacher at Hastings who founded Hoops for a Cure with Beth Flory and Brian Niekamp; Flory passed away from breast cancer in February 2016.

Hoops for a Cure tickets cost $5 if purchased at one of the two middle schools during lunch periods.

Otherwise, they will cost $8 at the door on the night of the game.

Proceeds go to cancer research. Over its first 10 years, Hoops for a Cure raised more than $85,000 to support the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital.

“This year, we decided to donate all proceeds to The James Cancer Hospital,” Leinbaugh said.

She said Hoops for a Cure each year enjoys nearly full participation from students, teachers and staff at Hastings and Jones.

“We usually have about 90 percent of the students take part in the event,” she said. “They are very sad if they have another commitment and are unable to attend.

“Every staff member participates in one way or another – volunteering time during the school day to sell tickets and T-shirts, having their enrichment-period classes make posters to advertise the event, counting money to be deposited or playing in the game.”

Beyond the commitment from the schools, Leinbaugh said Hoops for a Cure is sure to be fun and will help The James work toward its goal of a cancer-free world.

“This is one event where the goal is not only to have fun and come together as a community, but also to raise money over a great cause,” she said. “Support a great cause (and) watch the middle school teachers attempt to play basketball.”

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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