For the 12th consecutive year, the Pittsford Mendon and Pittsford Sutherland boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams will face each other in the Rainbow Classic. Community members are ready to fill the University of Rochester’s Louis A. Alexander Palestra bleachers at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 when the girls’ go head-to-head and then at 7:45 p.m. when the boys’ teams compete. A long-established competition, the rivals come together to support and raise money for Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).
In 2001, Pittsford residents Brian and Barb Pasley created the Rainbow Classic in memory of their daughter, Katelyn, who was treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The Pasley’s were soon joined by their friends Steve and Kim McCluski who lost their son Ryan. The two families came together to honor their children and have raised funds that have supported many Golisano Children’s Hospital patients and programs.
To purchase tickets, which go on sale Dec. 17 and are $10 each, please visit the main office at Pittsford Mendon or Pittsford Sutherland high schools.
For the second consecutive year, funds from the Rainbow Classic will be donated to the children’s hospital’s Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program.
“The Rainbow Classic is a wonderful way for the community to come together and support the children’s hospital and one of our premiere programs,” said Richard Kreipe, M.D., the Dr. Elizabeth R. McAnarney Professor in Pediatrics funded by Roger & Carolyn Friedlander and director of the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder program. “The successful basketball event helps us continue to help young people and their families move toward a healthy adulthood.”
Designed to evaluate and treat individuals who have diagnosed eating disorders and to aid those who have been exhibiting signs and symptoms, the program is one of seven priority programs of Golisano Children’s Hospital’s capital campaign. The $100 million campaign, which launched publicly in October 2011, supports major enhancements to pediatric programs and a new children’s hospital. The effort is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s $650 million campaign and the overall $1.2 billion goal of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.
When the Rainbow Classic began, funds were raised for laptop computers to help pediatric patients better communicate with friends and families. Once known as “Katie’s Computers,” in honor of Katelyn Pasley, the program evolved to support the “Get Well Network.” The interactive and web-based program is available on monitors in patient’s rooms, allowing access to numerous educational and entertainment programs. With funds raised from the 2010 Rainbow Classic, 20 flat-screen, high-definition television monitors were purchased for the Adolescent unit.
Proceeds from the Rainbow Classic have also helped fund the construction of a patient room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The room is named in memory of Katelyn and Ryan and a plaque outside its door recognizes the support of the Pittsford community, especially Pittsford cheerleaders who, over the last 12 years, have raised more than $220,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital.
For more information on the Rainbow Classic, please contact the Pittsford Athletic Department at (585) 267-1062. To make a gift on behalf of the Rainbow Classic, call (585) 273-5948.