More than 1,500 people gathered in the Cedar Springs High School gym last Saturday night for a basketball game between past and present Detroit Lions and Team Hazel, a group of community members who have come together to show their support of Cedar Springs High School teacher and soccer coach, Scotty Hazel. Hazel is undergoing treatment for liposarcoma. This is his second fight against cancer.
The event raised $12,500 towards Hazel’s cancer treatments.
The fundraiser was the brainchild of former CSHS teacher Cliff Young. The event featured several Detroit Lions players, including Rob Rubick, Herman Moore, Bill Bentley, Cory Schlesinger, Devin Taylor, and Tahir Whitehead. They played against a team made up CSHS teachers and community residents, including MSU standout and CSHS grad Austin Thornton. But the game was strictly for fun—full of hijinks, laughs and special substitutions from the sidelines. During halftime, the players signed autographs, and residents had the chance to bid at a silent auction.
Young said the event greatly exceeded his expectations, both in attendance and in the amount of money raised.
“Rob Rubick, who runs the Lions team, said it was the biggest and most raucous crowd they have played for,” noted Young.
But one of the most memorable parts of the night came early on. “Watching Scott join his family on the floor, raise his hands in the air, and stand while more than 1,500 people cheered before listening to Bekah Lou (Scott’s daughter) address the crowd will forever be burned into memories,” said Young. “Such a humbling experience. While the night was such a celebration of Scott, it was also the coming together of a wonderful community and a showing of profound generosity.”
Young said that Scott and his family are incredibly appreciative and happy about all that went on. “It was a great and memorable night all around.”