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Nisky NOW basketball fundraiser set for Sunday

Nisky NOW basketball fundraiser set for Sunday

Effort aids students who face hunger on weekends.
Nisky NOW basketball fundraiser set for Sunday
Rosendale Elementary students get ready for the "Hoops for Hunger" fundraiser. School social worker Jessica Brennan is in back.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Niskayuna basketball players will score points at Niskayuna High School on Sunday.

Jessica Brennan expects to score financial donations -- the basketball party is part of the second annual "Hoops for Hunger" event sponsored by Nisky NOW.

Brennan is the founder and president of Nisky NOW, a group that ensures needy Niskayuna school children have enough to eat on weekends.

As part of the fundraiser, boys and girls from Niskayuna's travel basketball teams will play in the high school gymnasium during the day-long event. The first game is at 8:15 a.m. All admission money will be donated to Nisky NOW.

Nisky NOW -- the NOW stands for Nutrition On Weekends -- has been helping kids and their families since 2014.

Brennan, a social worker at Rosendale school, said the 2019 edition of the fundraiser will be different this year.

"Instead of a fire truck to fill with food, we're actually looking for financial support because we can buy so much more through the food bank (Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York)," Brennan said. "We became a certified pantry, so we can buy through the food bank now. We're also working on getting steady funding sources."

People are asked not to bring food donations to the gym. Dollars and checks will be much more appreciated.

The basketball kids will sell raffle tickets throughout the day. Firefighters from the town's District 1 and District 2 fire departments will supply the prizes -- lucky students will receive rides to school on a fire truck. Eight rides will be awarded, one for a student at each district school.

Another man associated with red, Santa Claus, will also be inside the gym on Sunday. "We're going to set up a Santa selfie station," Brennan said.

Members of the boys' and girls' varsity teams will sell raffle tickets during their upcoming games.

The need exists. Brennan said Nisky NOW currently supplies 53 families, including several recent additions, families from the St. Kateri Tekakwitha parish. A fleet of drivers delivers the items to make sure children who eat Friday lunch at school don't have to wait until Monday morning school snacks for their next meal.

Nisky NOW recently was incorporated as a 501(c)(3). People who donate to the not-for-profit group can claim their donations as tax deductions. All funds raised go back into the program, which also is staffed by volunteer shoppers and packers.

While Nisky NOW's main goal is to alleviate hunger, Brennan is also trying to alleviate food anxiety: Kids will worry about whether they're going to have enough to eat.

If people are unable to attend Sunday's basketball party, Brennan said 
checks made out to Nisky NOW can be sent to Nisky NOW, Box 132, 1737 Union St., Niskayuna, 12309.

Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]


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