Buffalo, N.Y., April 11, 2016 – Buffalo’s homegrown charity basketball tournament, Ballin for a Cause (BFAC), is bringing nearly 600 participants from all over the world to compete in its 9th annual event.
On April 15-17, at Nichols School in Buffalo, 45 men, women and youth teams from across the North Eastern U.S. and Canada will meet in the Queen City to compete for the national championship and a $5,000 prize. This year, BFAC is also welcoming 12 international travel teams representing various countries and territories worldwide to participate in the first-ever World Games Division.
“This will be a great opportunity to promote world peace and showcase the Queen City to the world,” said Lindsey Taylor, co-founder and director of Ballin for a Cause.
The goal of the annual event is to raise awareness for local charities, non-profit organizations and drive initiatives around the BFAC ‘Big 4’ major causes:
- Education: BFAC engages students from local schools and community centers with its “It's more than a game" speaker series, where students can learn about the importance of higher education, having good character and how to be a leader in the community from professional athletes that they know and admire. BFAC also supports higher education. Since June 2012, the organization has raised more than $10,000 in scholarship funds for the Jireh D. Williams “We Achieve” scholarship.
- Community: Throughout the year, BFAC donates to various charities such as holiday toy and food drives. During tournament weekend, BFAC will host the Kicks4Kids sneaker drive, accepting gently used sneakers, shoes and boots to donate to school-aged children in need. This year, BFAC will also be accepting school supplies.
- Youth Sports: Since its inception, BFAC has provided funding, equipment and coaching staff for youth sports organizations such as the Sports Academy Youth Leadership and Sports, New York Warriors Youth Football and Cheerleading, Sports Academy Dance. Most recently, BFAC partnered with Odds2Beat Inc. to provide free basketball clinics youth ages 8-14.
- Health and Wellness: To help promote a healthy community, BFAC is partnering with Gene Coplin of Icopelifestyle, to provide free fitness classes to lucky winners at the BFAC event. In addition, Coplin will be providing tournament guests and athletes with tips, tricks and vital health information.
“It’s about giving back to the community we’re from,” said Taylor. “The ‘Big 4’ campaign strikes every area in need, getting kids off the streets and involved in organized activities, promoting health and wellness, continuing education and community involvement.”
This event was privately sponsored by its founders until 2013, but since has received great support from community organizations and leaders. Support for the 2016 event was provided by NYS Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples, Buffalo Common Council Members Richard Fontana and David Rivera, LP Ciminelli, Puerto Rican Day & Hispanic Day Parade Inc. International world games support was provided by community partners including the Buffalo Sports Commission, Visit Buffalo Niagara, International Institute of Buffalo and the Pucho Olivencia Community Center. For a full list of sponsors, please visit: http://ballinforacause.com/partners/.
Visit us online at www.ballinforacause.com and follow along for news and updates by visiting us on Twitter or Instagram @Ballinforacause. For a behind the scenes look, you can also follow us on Snapchat @bfac2016. Don’t forget to join the conversation by using the hashtag #BFAC.
Ballin for a Cause is a nationally-recognized, 5-on-5, basketball tournament consisting of 60+ men, women and youth teams from across the U.S. Over the last nine years, Ballin for a Cause has helped drive awareness and provide charitable donations for local community organizations and not-for-profits, demonstrating its commitment to the Buffalo and Western New York Community. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ballinforacause and Snapchat @bfac2016.