The 6th Annual North Shore 3-on-3 Summer Showdown raised more than $5,000 to benefit pediatric cancer care and research at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. The charity basketball tournament was held July 20th at the University of Illinois Chicago Student Recreation Facility, and brought together more than 100 athletes to play for the cause, as well as more than 100 attendees in the stands to cheer them on. Zachary Bulwa, a graduate of Glenbrook North High School and the University of Illinois, decided to combine his passions for basketball and medicine after shadowing physicians and scientists at UChicago. Zachary, along with his longtime friends Shane Massel and Jason Krawetz, began the tournament in 2008 and established the Cure It On The Court Foundation. Pediatric cancer leaders at the University of Chicago Medicine are working to help children and young adults with cancer through preventive genetic screening, early detection, and better, less toxic treatments.
Bright shoes and bright shirts fit the mood at the Cure it on the Court North Shore Summer Showdown held July 20 at the University of Illinois Chicago. naturally wore trendy bright basketball shoes.
An estimated 120 participants, 25 volunteers and more than 100 spectators came out to fund pediatric cancer research for the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.
Childhood pals Shane Massel, Zachary Bulwa and Jason Krawetz, all of Northbrook, and friends welcomed guests to the UIC Student recreation facility for an afternoon of basketball, fellowship, sportsmanship and hot dogs and more.
This was the sixth year of the North Shore Summer Showdown and Massel, an accountant and 2007 Glenbrook North High School graduate, appreciates the loyalty. “It’s great, I love seeing the fundraiser grow,” said Massel, Cure it on the Court foundation treasurer and vice-president. “The community support is tremendous.”
The slam dunk goal? Hopefully, $5,000. But later, Massel, who sported a neon yellow shirt stating, “Cure It,” said the “event was our most successful event to date, we will likely exceed $6,000.
“It’s a joint effort, we do a ton of work,” said Massel, acknowledging the help from Bulwa, a medical student at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, and Krawetz, a law student at The John Marshall Law School.
“Oh my gosh, it’s even way better than it was last year,” said David Bulwa, a 25-year Northbrook resident and Zachary Bulwa’s father.
“Shane Massel thanked sponsors such as Josh’s Hot Dogs of Northbrook, Marcello’s of Northbrook, Greater>Than beverages, Zockster, Quench Gum, Underscore Films, Rightfit Chicago, Lou Malnati’s, and Pop Chips.
By Karie Angell Luc
The Aug. 11 North Shore Summer Showdown, presented by The Cure It On The Court Foundation of Northbrook, welcomed a record number of participants, raising hope for children struggling with cancer.
Shane Massel, of Northbrook, a 2007 Glenbrook North High School graduate, is one of four GBN pals who organized the basketball game fundraiser at the Sachs Recreation Center in Deerfield.
He was helped by childhood friends, Jason Krawetz, who plans to be an attorney, Zachary Bulwa, who plans to be a doctor, and foundation colleague and buddy Matt Rosenberg, in support of the University of Chicago Medical Center and Comer Children’s Hospital. Currently, nearly 80 percent of children with pediatric cancer are cured, cites Callie Johnston, University of Chicago senior associate director of individual giving.
“Still, our work is not finished until all children are cured of cancer,” wrote Johnston in a mission statement provided for the Saturday afternoon fundraiser.
“The generosity of The Cure It On The Court Foundation has led to the creation AYA Oncology clinic (Adolescent Young Adult).”
“We are grateful…in these endeavors through The Cure It On The Court Foundation’s efforts,” added Johnston.
At 1:35 p.m., Massel, who had to quickly travel back and forth between two busy basketball court areas, was stoked. “It’s great,” said Massel, obviously pleased with the energy on the court. “There are a ton of people and everyone looks like they’re having a great time, I’m ecstatic.”
Landon Massel, Shane’s brother, said, “I’m proud of him with all of the work he’s done. Just seeing the amount of hours that he puts in and then seeing the final results makes all of the hard work worth it.”
“It’s amazing,” David Bulwa, proud dad of Zachary Bulwa, said. “This thing has grown from 10 teams at the beginning (five years ago) and now 30 teams are participating.”
Zachary Bulwa said, “We’re trying to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and every new participant helps us reach that goal.”
“I feel wonderful,” added Jason Krawetz, smiling. “This is the biggest one we’ve ever had.”
By: Karie Angell Luc
DEERFIELD — It’s not often that Highland Park and Deerfield High School basketball players team up on the hardwood, but that was exactly what happened at the Deerfield Park District’s Sachs Recreation Center on Saturday.
Hosted by a group of Glenbrook North graduates, 33 teams — featuring more than 100 players, mostly from the area — participated in the Cure It On The Court Foundation 3-on-3 basketball tournament, benefiting the new Adolescent Young Adult Oncology Clinic at the University of Chicago. The tourney was held in memory of University of Chicago Dr. James Nachman.
“We are really proud that our tournament is a community sponsored event,” said Zachary Bulwa, a former Glenbrook North basketball and baseball player, University of Illinois graduate and Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School student. “We are doing our best to make a difference in the lives of pediatric cancer patients by supporting the research at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and the creation of the AYA Oncology Clinic.”
Joining Bulwa in organizing the tournament were fellow GBN graduates Shane Massel, Jason Krawetz, Matt Rosenberg, Alison Movish and Jason Berg.
One of the teams advancing to the Elite Eight included former Highland Park star Tyler Max, who competed with fellow Giant Danny Holzman and Deerfield sharpshooter Josh Schur.
“It’s a different kind of competitiveness, but definitely brings back all the good memories from high school sports,” Max said. “It’s also great that this goes to such a good cause.”
Added Deerfield graduate Jordan Mellovitz: “I love coming out here to play and support this cause. It’s great playing against all of the guys you grew up playing against.”
The tournament was won by a team consisting of former high school basketball stars Peter Szostak (Glenbrook North), Nick Burt (Lyons Township) and Matt Palucki (Maine South), each of whom currently play for Washington University-St. Louis. The runner-up team featured Glenbrook South graduates Pat Reyes, Jake Kalnitz and Brennan Keller.
“I don’t get to play against competition like this all year except at this tournament,” said former Glenbrook North basketball player Kyle Solovy. “It’s great to see all of the younger guys and older guys that I don’t see on a weekly basis.”
Helping hands: “The Cure It On The Court Foundation would not be as successful as it is without the help we have from our sponsors: Greater Than, Marcello’s, Underscore Films, Chicago Digital, Quench Gum, Tiesta Tea, Burns & Wilcox, Chipotle, Josh’s Hot Dogs, Jewel Osco, Lou Malnati’s, Big Apple Bagel and Go Roma,” Bulwa said.
By Mark Perlman
In his silver Honda Accord coupe, Shane Massel of Northbrook, a 2007 Glenbrook North High School graduate, now a North Shore certified public accountant drove down the I-90 from Northbrook to Chicago.
His July 5 goal was an important meet and greet with two of his childhood friends, Jason Krawetz and Zachary Bulwa, who would equally shake hands with Callie Johnston of the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Johnston, who serves as senior associate director (individual giving) in the center’s development office across from the Loop’s Millennium Park, welcomed the trio who brought news of the Cure It On The Court Foundation’s fifth anniversary.
“We’re trying to do as much as we can,” said Massel, a University of Iowa accounting graduate.
Massel, who is pursuing a Roosevelt University master’s in accountancy science, is proud of Cure It On The Court — in fact, so much so, that he plans to juggle a packed career and scholastic schedule to raise money to cure childhood cancer.
Massel, with Krawetz (who plans to be an attorney), and Bulwa, who is studying to be a doctor, have raised almost $25,000 in four years, with the assistance of their fourth childhood buddy and foundation colleague, Matt Rosenberg.
“That’s a lot of money,” said Massel, grinning approvingly.
On Aug. 11, 30 teams and approximately 125 participants will take the courts during the North Shore 3-on-3 Summer Showdown Charity Basketball Tournament from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Sachs Recreation Center (formerly the Deerfield Multiplex) to benefit Cure It On The Court’s mission.
“I’m really, really so grateful,” said Johnston, who sat down with Massel, Bulwa and Krawetz to explain where Cure It On The Court dollars are utilized.
“Thank you for letting us know where our money is going,” said an appreciative Massel.
“It’s Doc Nach’s vision,” Massel added. “It’s a slam dunk.”
Pediatric cancer specialist James B. Nachman, 62, professor of pediatrics at University of Chicago, also affectionately known as “Doc Nach,” died in summer 2011 from a suspected heart attack while on a June Grand Canyon rafting trip.
As chairman of several children’s oncology national study committees, Nachman specialized in childhood leukemia and lymphoma.
“Doc Nach” helped to develop augmented post-induction therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which led to a late 1990s successful clinical trial, resulting in a higher ALL patient cure rate.
“(Dr. James Nachman) was world renowned, extremely popular in his field,” said Massel.
In the summer of 2008, Bulwa worked at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Doc Nach offered mentoring advice.
“He tried new methods and was recognized for his success (and) that’s who Zach (Bulwa) did research under, that’s what got us started (with) the foundation,” said Massel.
Bulwa was so moved with what he witnessed in 2008, that he approached Krawetz, Rosenberg and Massel, asking them to brainstorm.
Years of Northbrook residential basketball games among buddies segued into a slam dunk of a charitable idea.
“We didn’t have to really experience tragedy to come up with the idea,” said Krawetz, acknowledging heartbreaking struggles among families affected by childhood cancer.
“I think every year we’re surprised at what we’ve accomplished,” said Bulwa to Johnston, of Cure It On The Court’s accomplishments.
“You are impacting people in your age group,” said Johnston, smiling. “I think that’s pretty cool.”
An estimated 12,060 new cases of childhood cancer are expected to occur this year among children from birth though age 14, according to a facts provided by the University of Chicago.
An estimated 1,340 cancer deaths are expected to impact this same childhood age group in 2012, with one third of these deaths from leukemia.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death among children, exceeded only by accidents, according to findings.
“Because of the observation by Drs. James Nachman and Wendy Stock,” said Johnston, “the University of Chicago Medicine is establishing an Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) oncology clinic (opening Aug. 1) to bridge pediatric and adult oncology.”
The AYA will “provide the best possible in services and outcomes to this unique group of patients,” said Johnston.
“Beyond providing cutting-edge clinical care, “Johnston added, “the faculty members associated with the AYA oncology clinic will do research into the unique physiological and psychological issues met by AYA patients.”
Many of these patients, “compare the harsh and unremitting psychological damage associated with intensive chemoradiotherapy as being similar to post-traumatic stress disorder seen in war veterans,” added Johnston.
“The generosity of the Cure it on the Court Foundation has led to the creation of the AYA Oncology clinic and will continue to support the clinical and research efforts focused around the AYA population,” concluded Johnston.
To support Cure It On The Court and its Aug. 11 North Shore 3-on-3 Summer Showdown Charity Basketball Tournament , visit http://www.cureitonthecourt.org/
By Karie Angell Luc