There will be basketball action inside the Bruner Center at Illinois College later on this month.
The Harlem Wizards are coming to town for an event hosted by Team Overton that aims to benefit the Overton family and the Be The Match Foundation.
The Overton Family is one that is well known on the campus of IllinoisCollege, Renee is a Healthcare Associate at Illinois College, while her son Zach is a student. Both Zach and his mother were diagnosed with cancer within the last two years, and this event aims to help the family with their medical bills.
WLDS/WEAI News had a chance to talk to Renee Overton recently, she explains how this event came to be.
“Some friends of ours wanted to do something, and we had declined any help because our insurance was doing great, our employers were doing great, and when we found out (Zach) would need the transplant, the expense went up some and our friends wanted to do something for us. Their idea was to have the Harlem Wizards come on April 26th to support our family and the Be The Match program, which helps with transplant matches for stem cells,” says Overton.
Overton also tells us how it feels to receive this support from the community.
“Its very humbling, its very honoring. Like I said, all we’ve ever asked for is prayers from people. We believe that that makes the most difference, we know God has a plan were just not sure what it is yet. For them to go out and do this, the Routt and Our Saviors family stepped up when I first got sick and brought meal upon meal. We were so very grateful for that, and now for people to come and do this… They put it together without our knowledge at first because they weren’t sure how we would take it. But we are just so blessed to have these people.
Overton says there’s still more to do, even after the event has ended:
I strongly encourage the be the match program, it takes a cheek swab and 15 minutes to get your file started and giving to stem cell recipients is very minor nowadays. In the old days you had to do the bone marrow it was painful ,it was difficult. This is is just really a process of taking part of your blood out and its not difficult or painful at all. Maybe some minor aches and pains, but its very simple and its very helpful to people. It gives a lot of hope where people need that hope.
The event is two weeks from today at Illinois College. Tickets for the event are $25 for Courtside Plus seating, $15 for reserved seating and $10 for General Admission. The Courtside Plus seats come with a Harlem Wizards poster, pre-game Meet and Greet with the Wizards, a bag of popcorn and a souvenir lanyard.
Tickets can be purchased at Fitness World, County Market, the Bob Freesen YMCA, World Travel and the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce from now until the day of the game or online at harlemwizards.com. Tickets will also be available on the day of the game at the front entrance of the Bruner Center.
For more information, contact Sports Information Director Alex Keil at 217-245-3894.