Rival schools show unity


Event raises money for brain tumor research

Submitted story



During Friday’s “The Challenge” event at Olentangy Liberty High School, students wore specially designed T-shirts to show their support for the Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brian Tumors.

During Friday’s “The Challenge” event at Olentangy Liberty High School, students wore specially designed T-shirts to show their support for the Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brian Tumors.


Courtesy photo | Natalie Gray Foundation

POWELL — Two rival high schools came together to raise more than $11,000 for pediatric brain tumor research and to support a fellow student fighting the disease.

Olentangy Liberty High School hosted “The Challenge” on Friday, Jan. 13, when its varsity girls and boys basketball teams played their cross-town rivals, Olentangy Orange High School. The Challenge is an annual game the Liberty teams select as a fundraiser and, for the second year in a row, the teams choose The Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors.

In the week leading up to the game, both schools competed to raise the most money possible with T-shirt sales and other donations. The evening of the game, a record crowd bought raffle tickets, 50/50 tickets, and T-shirts to raise additional funds. Students from both schools also took part in halftime contests.

At the end of the night, Liberty High School raised “The Challenge” trophy, having raised more than $7,000. In total, the event raised more than $11,000.

“Both schools blew us away with how hard they worked on and off the court to make this night a success. The gym was packed and the energy was incredible,” said Shawn Wagner, Natalie Gray Foundation board member and Olentangy Liberty parent. “It says a lot about the high school students in our community that they came together for a friendly rivalry and to raise money to help kids and teens with brain tumors.”

The Natalie Gray Foundation was formed in 2021 after Powell resident Natalie Gray was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now 15 years old and a freshman at Olentangy Liberty, it was Natalie’s idea to start a foundation to help others experiencing pediatric brain tumors. Last year, the foundation committed to raise $250,000 for the CONNECT Consortium, a global organization focused on developing and testing treatments for children with brain tumors. To date, the foundation has donated $100,000 to CONNECT, whose founder is a key member of Natalie’s care team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Wagner said the foundation “wants to share its heartfelt thanks” to Olentangy Schools, Superintendent Mark Raiff, the teams, coaches, athletic boosters, and students at both schools for helping promote and support the record setting event. Event sponsors included Irvin Public Relations, Kinsale Golf & Fitness, Michell Insurance Agent Jason Barlow, Rusty Bucket, Lori Hodak at Cutler Real Estate, Metro Comfort Systems and Sheetz.

Find out more information about the foundation and pediatric brain tumor research at https://nataliegrayfoundation.org/.

The Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors is a IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Powell, OH. The Foundation’s stated purpose is to “provide support and inspire hope for children diagnosed with brain tumors through resources, research, and funding.”

During Friday’s “The Challenge” event at Olentangy Liberty High School, students wore specially designed T-shirts to show their support for the Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brian Tumors.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2023/01/web1_325616941_1396339244517000_1484994262315599260_n.jpgDuring Friday’s “The Challenge” event at Olentangy Liberty High School, students wore specially designed T-shirts to show their support for the Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brian Tumors. Courtesy photo | Natalie Gray Foundation
Event raises money for brain tumor research

Submitted story

Submitted by the Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors.

Submitted by the Natalie Gray Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors.