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Articles / 2009

Athletes post a win off the court

Camarillo Acorn
07/24/2009

SLAM DUNK—Faculty and students from Camarillo and Rio Mesa high schools present a pair of checks totaling $4,148.24 to officials with the Community Memorial Health System's Centers for Family Health at the Camarillo Center for Family Health on Arneill Road. The money, which was donated July 16, will be used for patients unable to afford prostate and breast cancer screenings at any of the nine centers for family health. Presenting the checks, from left, are Rio Mesa High School basketball player David Barroso, Spartan basketball coach Chris Ruffinelli, Rio Mesa basketball player Zech Burkhardt and Camarillo High School Athletic Director Mike Smith. Centers for Family Health officials accepting the checks are Kimberly Bridges, Becky Travino, Dr. Richard Reisman and Dr. Steve Jones. A pair of checks totaling $4,148.24 were presented to the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation by faculty and students from Rio Mesa and Camarillo high schools at the Camarillo Center for Family Health on Arneill Road July 16.

The basketball programs from the two rival high schools joined earlier this year to collect donations at the boys' and girls' basketball games as part of the inaugural "Ball It Up for Cancer" fundraiser.

The money will be used for patients unable to afford prostate and breast cancer screenings at any of the nine centers for family health.
"It felt really good," Rio Mesa basketball coach Chris Ruffinelli said after he handed off the checks at the Camarillo location. "They were very complimentary and wanted to make sure we knew how much good the donations were going to do."

Ruffinelli partnered with Mike Smith, Camarillo High School's athletic director, to make the fundraiser possible.

Kimberly Bridges, director of the Centers for Family Health, which are part of the Community Memorial Health System, said she was "thoroughly impressed" by the students at the two high schools for their charitable work.

"These athletes and their coaches have worked hard, and we appreciate what they have done to help make a difference in cancer diagnosis and treatment," Bridges said. "This gesture means so much to us on many levels— as a community, as rival schools partnering together in a positive way and our youth being actively involved to make a difference.

Ruffinelli said the two high schools hope to raise more money next year and will continue using the rivalry games to collect donations to help pay for cancer screenings.

To participate or to make a donation to "Ball It Up for Cancer," call Ruffinelli at (805) 278-5500.

—Daniel Wolowicz

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