‘Nova basketball takes day off to help area children

Anne Boyd

Whoever thought working in a grocery store all day was a bad idea for a fundraiser was mistaken. On April 3, from 2:45 – 3:45 p.m. the men’s and women’s basketball teams will take off their sneakers and get a day off of practice as they participate in Whole Foods Markets’ “Slam Dunk Competition” to raise money for area children who have lost their mothers.

Players will earn points for their teams by working all around the grocery store. They will be bagging groceries, acting as personal shoppers, loading the packages in cars, and stocking shelves. As an added bonus, players will also be signing autographs and playing some Nerf basketball all around the store. The fundraising activities will take place at the Devon and Wynnewood locations.

At the end of the day Whole Foods will donate five percent of the day’s sales to the Mommy’s Light Lives On fund. This is a non-profit organization that aims to bring comfort and support to young people whose mothers are in life-threatening situations or are deceased. The men’s team will be at the fundraiser for sure. The women’s presence depends on their performance in the NCAA tournament.

The foundation was started by Mary Murphy and her son just three months before she died of cancer. Their goal was to preserve the traditions and memories that they shared. This goal spread and now, Mommy’s Light is open to children all in southeaster Pa., southern N.J. and northern Del.

Today, the foundation is run by Laura Munts, president of the Mommy’s Light Lives on Foundation. Munts’ goal is “to be known by every eligible child and his family and to have the capacity to serve each child who chooses are services.” Hence, the reason for the fundraiser.

With the money raised at the “Slam Dunk Competition” the foundation will give these children ways to remember their mothers, and soothe their pain, and, support the foundation so that it can continue to care for these children.

The foundation has many ways to help the young people they assist. Most of the time, Mommy’s Light simply funds what the children have always wanted to do to remember their mothers.

Munts gives an example: “Stephanie, age 10, visited the beach her first time since her mother’s death. She collected and painted seashells, then decorated her mother’s grabe with them. Jackie baked chocolate chip cookies on her mom’s birthday … these children are finding their own beautiful ways to celebrate their mothers.”

Mommy’s Light raised $2,300 last year from the Devon store alone.

This year, the fundraiser has expanded to the Devon and Wynnewood stores, so Munts hopes to earn at least double. “And, if the Villanova community saves all their grocery shopping for April 3, who knows how much we may receive.”