Girls basketball players spread Valentine’s spirit with Candy Grams

Haddonfield high school team raises funds and donates more than 150 candy grams

The Haddonfield Memorial High School girls basketball team visits the Brandywine Retirement Community on Valentine’s Day to deliver candy grams to residents. Team members include Enya Carthy (back row, left to right), Ariana Singh, Diana Huebl, CeCe Batson, Anna Przbyliski, Delaney Quinn, Sammy Kennedy and Gala Durkin. (Special to The Sun/The Sun)

This Valentine’s Day, players from the Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS) girls basketball team spread the holiday spirit through a Candy Gram fundraiser. For every Candy Gram purchased, another one went to the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden and Brandywine Senior Living in Haddonfield. 

“The idea bubbled up through (parent) Amy Carthy,” explained freshman basketball coach Deirdre Benjamin. “Because it is a booster club, they are responsible for their own fundraising.

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“We took the idea from the cross-country team (who had done candy grams for Halloween) and implemented it during basketball season, but we added a giving portion,” the coach added.

“We’ve been wanting to do something with charities for a while, but it was just hard finding somewhere to do something and [Carthy] really helped us create an idea and make it happen,” said senior and varsity player Ruby Petrovich.

The funds will help cover the costs of team-building exercises, senior gifts and other items and offset the cost of the end-of-the year banquet. Following the end of sales on Feb. 4, the 27 teammates gathered at two players’ homes to assemble about 150 Candy Grams.

On Feb. 13 and 14, the team hand-delivered Candy Grams throughout Haddonfield to people who purchased them and to the organization’s donation recipients. Benjamin recalled that when delivering the treats to seniors at Brandywine, players encountered a resident who once played for their team.

As reported by Benjamin and Petrovich, it was a gratifying experience for everyone involved.

“It was really nice, because I know this will be a tradition that gets passed down for the years to come, and I hope the girls are able to do this every year,” Petrovich noted.

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