SCHUYLKILL >> The theme of the day was to stop smoking. Either do not start or quit, and encourage others, both young and old, to do the same thing.
The 20th annual Kick Butts Day was held March 18 at the Phoenixville Area YMCA. Besides instructing people on the health dangers of smoking, more than 150 kids of middle school and high school age turned out for a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.
Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), which works in connection with Phoenixville Hospital, sponsored the event.
Billie Goldstein is the TATU Facilitator, Phoenixville Hospital, which was part of the Welcoming Committee. Goldstein is the director of Tobacco Control Programs for Phoenixville Hospital. She works in connection with TATU for the Phoenixville Area School District, both at the high school and middle school.
“The middle school wanted to do something for Kick Butts Day,” said Goldstein. “There is not a replacement for adults dying. To highlight it, they wanted to have something fun, so they came up with the 3-on-3 hoops tournament.”
Other members of the Welcoming Committee were Donna Burns, YMCA Membership Services Director; Dr. Alan Fegley, PASD Superintendent; Steve Tullman, CEO Phoenixville Hospital; and Dolores Winston, Communities That Care.
The tournament consisted of sixth grade teams, 7-8 grade teams and 9-12 grade teams. Awards were presented by Kevin Corcoran, PAMS TATU Advisor. Anthony Strickland directed the tournament.
First prize for winning the tournament was a $15 Wawa card. Second prize was a Regal Movie Ticket. Every kid received a water bottle.
Goldstein pointed out that on May 5, a busload of TATU members are going to Harrisburg for Advocacy Day, which is organized by the American Lung Association.
“This is a great group of kids,” said Goldstein. “It is a first-time event for the 3-on-3, and we got over 100 students. It is good exercise for a good cause.”
Goldstein praised Corcoran for his dedicated work against smoking.
“It is his passion that keeps TATU alive,” said Goldstein.
Corcoran appreciated the turnout on what became a perfect day.
“It’s fantastic, more than I ever dreamed of,” said Corcoran. “We wanted to do something big to make people aware of smoking. It is peer to peer. We want the older kids to get the younger kids to not start or help someone stop smoking for a healthier life style and have fun.”
“It’s a big day, a huge day,” said Strickland. “We have over 40 teams. Each game lasts 10 minutes. It is single-elimination until we crown a champion. They are all Phoenixville area kids and some from the Renaissance Academy.”