HUDSONVILLE, Mich. -- A sports marketing class at Hudsonville High School is putting on a charity event and it’s purpose could help a lot of people.
"It’s just a big part of this class," said Jenn Lanphear, a business teacher at the school.
"A lot of the reasons why kids take this class because they get to do this real world project that has big impacts on a lot of people. and a lot of them will come back and say how much it meant to them or how this was a favorite class they took just because they got to give to others and learn how to work these events and that type of thing," she said.
This semester the class is organizing a charity basketball game, the Never Forgotten Basketball Game, aimed at raising money for Automated External Defibrillators, or AED’s that will eventually be placed in schools.
An AED is an easily operated device that’s used when someone is experiencing heart failure. It can happen to anyone and anytime.
"I would say because it can happen to anyone. and it’s not as rare as you think. you could have one and not know, like a heart condition. and like a lot of people die of heart attacks or different things, so, it’s just really important," Madelin Dekker, a junior at Hudsonville High School.
It happened to Wes Leonard, a star-athlete and stand-out kid at Fennville scoring the game winning basket and suddenly collapsed suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.
Wes didn’t make it, dying from, what doctors would later discover to be an enlarged heart.
"We are working with the Wes Leonard Heart Team," Lanphear said. "Their goal is to put AED’s in Michigan schools, especially those who can’t afford to put them in,"she said.
"Wes was one of my students at Fennville when I taught at Fennville and so it’s nice for me to be able to bring his story here and expand it and keep talking about how important these machines are to really all kids and adults and spectators," she said.
This class and even more specifically West Ottawa and Hudsonville will be honoring Wes’ legacy by providing awareness and funds to make sure all schools have working AED’s inside of their building.
"I don’t think people always realize how important AED’s are or just how many people have been touched by stories like that," she said.
This Friday, January 25 at 6 p.m. you can give back by attending this game, buying a t-shirt, purchasing a raffle ticket, donating or by just enjoying the planned events.
"Come help support and save somebody’s life," senior Ben Dykstra said.
Boys will play first, followed by the girls at 7:30 p.m. If you want to donate in a different way, click here.