An overflow crowd packed into the Madison High School gym Tuesday evening to cheer, donate money and pray for a teenage girl battling cancer.
It wasn’t your typical fund-raising event with two neighboring Butler County school districts, Madison and Edgewood high schools, joining forces to raise money for 16-year-old Mattie Cole.
Faculty members from both schools squared off in a good-natured basketball game in front of more than 1,600 paying fans and dozens more standing around the court.
Players sported T-shirts reading “Love. Hope. Cure.”
The crowd was also treated to a performance by the nationally acclaimed Firecrackers Jump Rope team from Warren County’s Kings Schools, school bands and chorus groups and fun-filled events all designed to provide much-needed fund to the Cole family, whom are facing mounting medical bills.
Ticket sales were robust as were the fundraiser’s snacks and concession business.
After the Journal-News reported Cole’s struggle and her family’s challenges in paying for the life-saving treatments needed, officials from both school systems decided to work together to help out and encourage more community assistance.
Few were surprised by the turnout from the two rural, close-knit school communities.
“Madison and Edgewood have a close relationship,” said Madison High School Principal Justin Smith.
“It’s special and its nice. We’re behind them (Coles) 100 percent and she is a really good kid and we want to help her any way we can,” said Smith
Madison school parent Alexa Murphy said “it’s awesome.”
“This is what Madison is and Edgewood schools are good neighbors too. We all love the whole family,” said Murphy who is a friend of the Coles.
“This will mean a great deal to Mattie and her family,” she said.