March gladness rebounds during charity basketball

Third-grade teacher aide and lunchroom monitor Maureen Bodensteiner can still do splits and cartwheels, talents leftover from her days as a cheerleading squad captain. Wearing a 1960’s flip-styled hair and sporting pom-poms, she played cheerleader along with 11 other teachers during the first annual Resurrection/St. Paul School, Ellicott City, student and faculty/staff basketball game held at Mount Hebron High School March 29.

Thirty-five eighth graders and 20 faculty/staff members put sneakers to the court in front of 650 spectators to raise more than $2,700 to benefit The Believe In Tomorrow House at St. Casimir, Baltimore, affiliated with John’s Hopkins Children’s Center (visit

After the school band roused a boisterous crowd, Father J. Collin Poston, associate pastor of Church of the Resurrection, said a game prayer and headed for the court as a member of the faculty/staff team. The priest is a regular player on the archdiocese’s Men in Black basketball team.

Coached by physical education teacher Kevin Sokoloff, the faculty/staff lost the game in a final score of 61-32.

The idea to host a basketball game evolved from the school’s Helping Hands Service Club, said club moderator and first-grade teacher Angela Calamari, another player in the game. With more than 90 student members in the after-school club, children plan monthly service projects; they decide advertising strategies, and research and vote on which charities to donate. Teachers Anne Durans and Colette Newton also oversee the club.

The students controlled ticket sales, program, poster-making, concessions, set-up and clean-up for the event. “They are really great about it and are very faithful to the projects,” said Ms. Calamari. “It (the basketball game) was a tremendous community building activity. Instead of March Madness, we called it March Gladness.”

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.