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Department of Parks and Recreation Column

The 3rd Annual Live Civilly March Madness Tournament of Giving is approaching.

This year marks the 3rd Annual Live Civilly March Madness Tournament of Giving, scheduled for Saturday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Church Street Recreation Center. Hosted by the Moorestown Department of Parks & Recreation, and supported by local businesses, the tournament has become a spring favorite. Each year, this tournament has grown in participation and helps to fund the many nutritional outreach programs Live Civilly offers in conjunction with the Department of Parks & Recreation.

This year, the tournament will honor long time Moorestown resident, educator, volunteer and Recreation staff member, Richard “Mike” Bartello. Bartello was a fixture within the Recreation Department starting at the young age of 16. As the youngest of 13 children, he began working for the Recreation Department while in high school. “Whitey,” as his close friends knew him, grew up in Moorestown, graduated from University of Pennsylvania and spent his career as a teacher at Pemberton High School. Bartello continued his work with Parks & Recreation during summers and even after his retirement. While Bartello worked in many facets of recreation, his true love was basketball and in addition to helping to run Recreation clinics, leagues and local basketball efforts, he volunteered for Board 34 (a basketball refereeing association) for more than 50 years. Bartello’s chief interest was for the welfare of children and he impacted many children throughout his nearly 70 years affiliated with the Moorestown Department of Parks & Recreation.

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The Live Civilly March Madness Tournament of Giving will honor his memory in this its third year. The referees from Board 34 will donate their time and officiate all nine hours of basketball games on the day of the event. This money raised by this event provides support for programs and services that benefit all youth — from the ExCELS (Extra Curricular Education and Life Skills) snack program that provides healthy snacks at the open gym program daily, to the summer lunch program that provides camper lunches during summer programs to the Make-N-Take Nutritional Outreach Programs offered in the Recreation commercial kitchen. All of these programs and services are offered by Live Civilly, free of charge. No child is required to pay, nor is any child ever denied services.

At the event, children’s games (first through eighth grade) will take place in the morning while overflow from seventh and eighth grade play in the afternoon, including the high school and adult teams. Team entry is $100 ($25 per person) for teams of four (each team is allowed one sub) and all proceeds go to Live Civilly’s nutritional outreach programs. Teams can make their own shirts or dress up (last year there were tutus) and are guaranteed a three-game minimum. Advanced registration is required.

For more information about registration, visit www.livecivilly.com and click on the March Madness image on the home page. To volunteer please visit http://www.livecivilly.org/volunteer/ and select the “March Madness volunteer sign up.” Youth and families can volunteer to help sell concessions, run the score boards, coordinate teams and courts and more. Service hours can be documented and will be verified. Questions? Email us at contact@livecivilly.org.

Join the Live Civilly Nation for a fun day of basketball and goodwill. Also join the nation of people helping people helping people helping people. See you courtside!


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