They're some of the NFL's roughest and toughest. But are they any match on the hardwood against teachers, students, parents, police and youth sports volunteers at Jackson Liberty High School this Saturday? Either way, everyone wins in a basketball fundraiser for township families in crisis.

Jackson Pay It Forward volunteers (courtesy Arlene Wacha)

The Jackson School Family event, under the aegis of Dream for Kids, provides financial support for hard-pressed township families. According to Structured Learning Experience Advisor Arlene Wacha, Dream for Kids raises about $100,000 each year for scholarships. Jackson students take active roles in community support throughout the year - including, she says, her own family after they lost everything in a pre-Christmas house fire.

The formidable footballers include Giants running back Darian Barnes, defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks and cornerback Brandon Bing, Jets cornerback Aaron Beasley and wide receiver Michael Campbell; Denver Broncos defensive tackle J'vonne Parker; Oakland Raiders cornerback Joey Porter; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Chad Plummer; New England Patriots wide reciever Tony Logan; and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Barrett Brooks

Bing, Parker and Porter have one more thing in common - they're all graduates of Rutgers University.

Full ticket information here.

In addition to the game, organizers will honor local heroes. Members of student clubs and teams will be in constant motion, conducting tricky trays and silent auctions, ferrying refreshments, and  overseeing a VIP hour for mingling with the football stars. There will also be a chance to snap up some NFL authorized merchandise.

Tickets for the game cost $10 in advance, $15 at the door. A $30 contribution ahead of time, or $35 at the door, includes the pregame VIP hour. The doors open at 5:30 PM and tipoff for two solid hours of hoops is at 7 PM.

Jackson Pay It Forward volunteers (courtesy Arlene Wacha)

Pay It Forward drives take a multitude of forms each year, such as Jeans for Teens, food and toy drives for special needs families and sheltered animals, and a Halloween trunk-or-treat that brings retirees together with youngsters.

For details about the event. contact  Arlene Wacha, awacha@jacksonsd.org.

 

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