NYSPHSAA Announces Winter 2020 Community Service Challenge Champions.

Date Posted: 04/30/2020
Author: Chris Watson, Director of Communications

NYSPHSAA Announces Cambridge Central School as Winter 2020

Community Service Challenge Champions


LATHAM, NY- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) is proud to announce the Cambridge Central School (Section 2) girls basketball program as the winner of the Winter 2020 Community Service Challenge. Cambridge was chosen as the winning school by the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is comprised of two current student-athletes from each of the 11 member sections.

Established in the Fall of 2010, the program encourages students to stay active in their communities. For the past two years, NYSPHSAA has partnered with Team Up for Community to allow online submissions. The Team Up for Community portal provides schools the opportunity to showcase community service projects which ultimately fosters young peoples’ sense of civic engagement and community thus helping them achieve their educational, developmental and social goals. 

When a third grader in the Cambridge youth basketball program, Nola Marotta, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer the entire basketball program knew they needed to help. On January 25th, 2020, the Cambridge girls basketball program hosted a fundraiser called Hoopin’ for Nola to help ease the financial burden for the family. The team planned and executed the fundraising event in less than four weeks. The event included a bake sale, nail and face painting booths and a basket raffle. All members of the Cambridge girls basketball program wore gold shoelaces to promote awareness of childhood cancer. The one-day event raised over $10,000 for Nola and her family with all the funds donated to the Marotta family to help offset medical expenses. Members of the team promoted the all-day event by hanging up signs throughout the community, as well as promoting it in school and through social media. The varsity girls basketball team created a video to spread awareness about the event and show support for Nola.

“We are so proud of everyone involved with our varsity girls’ basketball program,” said Deborah Lauver, Cambridge Athletic Director.  “The players are truly a remarkable group of young women, led by a very caring coaching staff. Together they embody the concept of team and family. When Nola was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, the team and their coaches quickly stepped up to help orchestrate a plan to help. Their commitment helped bring so many people together for such a great cause.”

Cambridge will be presented a physical award and recognized for their accomplishments at the NYSPHSAA Recognition Luncheon during the Central Committee Meeting on July 28th at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid.

For the 2020 Winter season, a total of 205 projects were submitted with a total of 7,857 student-athletes participating in some type of community service project. In total, 34,461 hours were volunteered and $182,304 was raised for charitable causes around the state.

Previous Community Service Challenge State Champions-

2020 – Fall, Ossining High School (Section I)

2019 – Winter, Harrison High School (Section I)
            Fall, Canandaigua Academy (Section V)/Eastport South Manor (Section (XI)
            Spring, Hewlett High School (Section VIII)

2018 –Farmingdale High School (Section VIII)

2017 – Akron High School (Section VI)

2016 – Mahopac High School (Section I)

2015Kings Park High School (Section XI)

2014 – Arlington High school (Section I)

2013 – Columbia High School (Section 2)

2012 – Ossining High School (Section I)

2011 – Adirondack Central School (Section III)


About NYSPHSAA (Twitter: @NYSPHSAA | Facebook: NYSPHSAA | YouTube: NYSPHSAASports):
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.