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 Parcells Panthers seventh grader Ben Rickerman, No. 15, and Brownell Broncos seventh grader Aiden Clark, No. 31, play fiercely for the Wounded Warrior Project Dec. 16 at Parcells Middle School.

Parcells Panthers seventh grader Ben Rickerman, No. 15, and Brownell Broncos seventh grader Aiden Clark, No. 31, play fiercely for the Wounded Warrior Project Dec. 16 at Parcells Middle School.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Game on for the Wounded Warrior Project

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 23, 2019

 Parcells Middle School eighth grade student Myles Hicks greets Airman 1st Class Jacci Sherry, of Grosse Pointe Farms, and retired Staff Sgt. Jon McLaren, of St. Clair.

Parcells Middle School eighth grade student Myles Hicks greets Airman 1st Class Jacci Sherry, of Grosse Pointe Farms, and retired Staff Sgt. Jon McLaren, of St. Clair.

Photo by Donna Agusti

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The basketball players were excited to wear camouflage for their game, but there was a bigger reason behind the fashionable look.

On Dec. 16, the seventh and eighth grade boys basketball teams from Parcells and Brownell middle schools played each other to highlight the Wounded Warrior Project.

Parcells Athletic Coordinator Beth Gulick and Brownell Athletic Coordinator Gina Francis coordinated the event, which was held at Parcells. The event raised $188. In support of the event, the schools held a “Teachers Wear Jeans” activity in which teachers paid $1 to wear jeans to school. Money also was raised through a bake sale.

“I was looking for a charity to give to that would mean something to them wearing camouflage,” Gulick said in an email. “I spoke with Gina Francis, the athletic coordinator at Brownell, and we agreed on this. We told (the athletes) we were doing this game and their uniforms would be camouflage, and they were excited.”

There were two games: one with the seventh graders and one with the eighth graders. The Parcells Panthers won both games against the Brownell Broncos. At least 100 people were in the crowd for both games.

“It is a fun thing and our kids need to learn the true benefit of giving back,” Gulick said. “They do these at the high school level, and we thought we would try it here. We did a Pink Out in the fall for volleyball and plan to continue the tradition through our other seasons.”

A Pink Out event brings people together to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research and awareness. At last week’s basketball game, the players made it a point to visit with military representatives Jacci Sherry, an airman 1st class from Grosse Pointe Farms, and retired Staff Sgt. Jon McLaren, of St. Clair, who were in attendance.

“They got to ask questions as well as really see, from uniform to discussions, what it is like to be in the military,” Gulick said. “Learning happens all day to students, and I think they got some more education playing basketball this year.”

The Wounded Warrior Project, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a nonprofit organization that offers various programs, services and events for military members wounded after Sept. 11, 2001. It was founded in 2003 in Roanoke, Virginia, by a group of veterans and friends who wanted to help the injured service members of this generation.

“It’s been one of the best things for me,” veteran Brett Miller said on the charity’s website, www.woundedwarriorproject.org. “Wounded Warrior Project enabled me to do things I would have never been able to do on my own.”

“It’s so good to know that I’m not alone because, for a long time, I thought I was,” veteran Antoinette Wallace said.

According to the website, the Wounded Warrior Project’s programs include career and VA benefits counseling, government relations, mental wellness, physical wellness and more.