Basketball fan or not, it’s easy to latch onto spring’s entertaining roller-coaster ride (aka, the national college year-end basketball tournament). And when it’s semi-finals day, the best place to watch the action is the annual Hoops and Hoopla fundraiser to benefit National Jewish Health’s Morgridge Academy for chronically ill children. Easy to attend, you can wear what you want, watch basketball or not, eat and drink to your heart’s content, play games of skill and chance, bid on silent auction items…or just hang in a fun, informal atmosphere.

Michigan State Spartans fan John Wescott and Tim Kretzschmar

On April 6, around 400 guests headed up to the United Club Level at Broncos Stadium at Mile High ready for a great time. And they got it with the advertised enticements—but this year the basketball games were watch-worthy as well. Altitude Sports Radio host Ryan Harris sparkled right alongside his gigantic Super Bowl 50 ring, serving as both as emcee and live auctioneer, grabbing extra dollars for the cause during bidding for a Denver Nuggets playoff package. Between basketball games, former Morgridge School student and current board member Brian Parks spoke to the crowd, along with the school’s principal Jennifer McCullough. Presenting sponsor Greiner Electric was recognized for its fundraising efforts and sponsorship, and all of the event “coaches” appeared on stage as well.

Former Denver Nuggets player and current Nuggets ambassador Ervin Johnson

National Jewish Health (NJH) is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. US News & World Report named it No. 1 in Adult Pulmonology & Lung Surgery Hospitals for 2018-19, with a 100 out of possible 100 points awarded. To learn more about NJH, please visit https://www.nationaljewish.org/home, or call 877-225-5654.

Morgridge Academy is a free school for chronically ill children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school, operated by National Jewish Health, serves children living in Metro Denver who have been diagnosed with a range of severe, chronic health conditions. With a dedicated team of teachers, nurses, a child advocate and a school counselor, the students receive a quality education while learning to manage their illnesses.

Jennifer McCullough, Morgridge Academy principal, and Lorrie Schroeck

The goals of Morgridge Academy are to help chronically ill children to achieve academic and physical excellence and to prepare them to become independent and self-reliant. The coordinated care is designed to give students the knowledge and confidence to manage both their education and their illnesses, ultimately enabling them to return to a traditional public school setting.

In a way, Morgridge Academy is more than just a “school.” It embodies an educational philosophy that enables students to grow, develop, and learn at their maximum ability in a warm, friendly, and caring environment. Each child’s physical health is a top priority, but we also focus on their social growth as well as academic excellence. For more information, please visit https://www.nationaljewish.org/education-training/morgridge-academy/overview, or call 303.398.1103.