The word champion took on a new meaning when St. Mary’s Fishkill parish CYO hosted a Thanksgiving Tip-off Basketball Tournament in the spirit of ThanksGIVING.  In lieu of trophies, donations were provided to area charities including Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County, Cardinal Hayes Home for Children, Birthright and the Fishkill Food Pantry. In addition, admission receipts were also contributed making the combined total donation $2,212.  The players, coaches and parents were true champions of those in need.

Dutchess County CYO coordinator Jill Denin-Phillipbar shares, “This idea presented to the CYO teams and participants about giving to those less fortunate instead of themselves during the holiday season is admirable. The best part about it is the coaches, players, and families are discussing important real life issues and not just talking about the X’s and O’s of the game. Sports are fun and can teach kids great life lessons. These kids made a conscious and selfless decision to act on the lessons being taught and help others in need, THAT’S FANTASTIC! “

Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County is dedicated to helping solve the problems of New Yorkers in need – both Catholic and non-Catholic, day in and day out,and always with compassion and dignity. Some of the ways that Catholic Charities provides help and creates hope are protecting and nurturing children and youth, feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless, strengthening families and resolving crises, supporting the physically and emotionally challenged, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees.