Hundreds of Keith Valley Middle School eighth graders took to the gym floor to play over 15 hours of hockey in the largest Make-A-Wish Foundation student fundraiser in the country Feb. 7 to 8. The 38th annual Keith Valley Challenge kicked off Feb. 7 with a rallying assembly, where the school revealed that the students had raised $58,250.
“The Challenge is one of the greatest traditions we have at Keith Valley,” 8th grade Assistant Principal John Ewerth said. “Our students look forward to doing this every year. As an administrator, seeing our students so dedicated to a great cause like Make-A-Wish Foundation makes me proud. It demonstrates that our students genuinely care about others.”
Each of the teams created their own posters and uniforms bearing their unique name and color. Some dressed their uniforms up with painted symbols, while others accessorized with tiaras.
The Keith Valley Challenge is an all-night floor hockey marathon that 8th grade students participate in. Students are required to raise a minimum of $75 to participate and all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. To date, the Keith Valley Challenge has raised just under $890,000 and supported several charities in the past 37 years. This year’s Keith Valley Challenge exceeded the previous fundraising record by more than $4,500.
The Keith Valley Challenge began in 1977 in memory of an 8th grade student who died of a heart defect. In his memory administrators, faculty, staff and students sponsored a floor hockey marathon and pledged to raise money for charity. Since then, the event has taken on a life of its own. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been the recipient of the challenge for several years.
Many of the Make-A-Wish wishes that have been supported by the Challenge go to children in the Greater Philadelphia area, even some in the Hatboro-Horsham community.