Written by H4H Champion, Peter Kazickas
Mark Crandall and I are from the same town, Amagansett, and went to the same middle and elementary schools. His dad used to sing at the church that I went to. The first time I can remember meeting Mark and learning about Hoops 4 Hope was when I was at Amagansett Elementary school, probably in the 4th or 5th grade. I can clearly remember a lot of what he said and still have some of the soda can sculptures he brought with him when he spoke to our class. I also spent about three summers going to his East Hampton Sports Camp, which is where both of my sisters worked. My oldest sister Annalina spent a few months in South Africa working with Hoops 4 Hope. Her great experience, along with my desire to help Mark and the children in Zimbabwe from an early age, are what have sparked my want to go to Zimbabwe this summer.
When asked, by Mark, to raise money as a type of prerequisite, I began thinking of a lot of fundraising ideas. Among them, a student-faculty golf tournament, with a small buy-in, where faculty pay volunteer students to caddy. Unfortunately this idea fell through. This is where Henry (Romeyn) came in. When I told him of the trip he became very excited and wanted to help out. We decided to make a calendar of male seniors in our school. To our surprise, the idea really caught on. What helped even more was when a German exchange student who was staying at our school for a few weeks turned out to be a paid photographer back home. We raised a good deal of money giving these calendars to the students. Many more of our donations came in from school trustees and family members who we reached out to and explained what we were doing and why.
Unfortunately, a few complications have risen and Henry will most likely not be joining me to Zimbabwe. This being said, he has still been very influential in helping me raise the money, and I certainly would not be where I am with out his help and desire to help Hoops 4 Hope. I am extremely excited to get to Zimbabwe and begin work as soon as possible, (I have never been more anxious to do anything)!
Peter will be attending Hamilton College in Upstate NY this fall, while Henry will be attending Trinity College in Connecticut.
Peter traveled to Africa this past weekend and has arrived safely in ZIM! Upon his arrival, he presented a bag of balls to All Star Nickson, who received it on behalf of Hoops 4 Hope Zimbabwe. We look forward to hearing more about his adventures with Hoops 4 Hope in southern Africa!