By Scat Mangia ‘15
Fire dancers. Stilt walkers. Burgers on the grill. And, of course, some basketball.
The 9th Annual Maroon Madness/Light the Night for Coaches vs. Cancer had it all and provided an electric start to one of the most anticipated sports seasons of the year. The night started off at 6 o'clock, with a tailgate party in front of Bryant Gymnasium, highlighted by performances from the Sixers Flight Squad, a juggling stilt-walker and L3Fire – a fire-dancing troupe. Kelly’s Bryn Mawr provided burgers on the grill and the first 250 fans to donate to Coaches vs. Cancer received a limited edition t-shirt designed by Freshman Select.
At 7, the community gathered to walk in honor of the evening’s cause – the fight to cure cancer. LM principal Sean Hughes and the bulldog mascots led the way as walkers navigated the circumference of the Lower Merion High School campus.
Following the walk, fans packed the gym for the evening’s basketball festivities. First came the introductions of this year’s boys and girls teams and remarks by captains Danielle Baer and Justin McFadden. The squads then joined the faculty dance team for an entertaining performance. Then came a personal video message from St. Joe’s Hawks head coach Phil Martelli about the importance of the cause, and a challenge for LMHS to be the top fundraising school in the Coaches vs. Cancer School Initiative this year. Just as the teams were about to tip-off for the scrimmage, the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brett Brown, arrived to a huge ovation. Coach Brown congratulated the LM community for their efforts to raise funds for cancer research and expressed amazement at the level of energy and support for high school basketball at Lower Merion.
Student groups performing at the event included the LM Dance Team, TSA, the Drill Team, Swim Team, Cheerleaders and for the first time ever – Best Buddies.
This year’s Maroon Madness videos were produced by Dan Capkin and Benji Dunaief '14. Special thanks to Michael Dunaief (DJ Dynamike) for keeping the party going all night as well as Hymie’s Delicatessen, Dake’s Drugs and Kelly’s Bryn Mawr for their lead sponsorship of the event. Thanks, too, to the more than 900 fans who participated in the evening and helped support a great cause.