Community comes together to help student with cancer

Fifth annual Cops vs. Teachers contest raises money for Ridgecrest Elementary's Cartwright

of the HeraldApril 2, 2014 

East Pierce County rallied around an individual in need for the fifth consecutive year.

The Cops vs. Teachers basketball game Wednesday night saw the teachers walk away with a 56-32 victory at Ferrucci Junior High School in Puyallup, but nobody was that concerned about the score.

All proceeds went to Ridgecrest Elementary School fifth-grader Tori Cartwright, who is battling stage IV brain cancer. Complications from a brain tumor have caused her to go blind due to damage to her optic nerve.

Close to 500 fans attended the event. Baron Coleman, the main organizer, was proud of the effort.

“I can’t say enough about this community,” Coleman said. “This community always steps up. Everything here tonight is for a young lady named Tori who is fighting for her life. She is our guest of honor. What a fighter she is. She is here with us, too, tonight, which is really nice. The players from both teams have really surrounded themselves around her. She isn’t able to see them, but she knows the love that is there.

“We’ve got players on the court tonight from all different schools in the school district, and six different police agencies are represented tonight,” Coleman said. “It’s really neat for the community to be able to come together to make an impact for her family.”

Cartwright’s mother Vanessa was thrilled to see so many people support her daughter.

“It’s totally amazing,” she said. “I can’t believe how much everyone has come out to support Tori. It’s just great.”

Former Emerald Ridge High School baseball head coach Tim Spears didn’t miss out on one of his favorite events of the year.

“The scoreboard doesn’t really tell the story,” he said. “It’s a great lesson for the kids that go to school here about thinking outside of yourself. That is the key message. It’s a great charity event, and the people of our community are always helping others.”

Shaun Scott: 253-552-7002 shaun.scott Twitter: @herald_shaun

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