Hoops to Hope
Mr. Mustang event helps support Hoops to Hope. An organization that helps elders with Alzheimer's get back into the game of life.
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Ralston Valley’s annual Mr. Mustang event is soon to be upon us. On April 15th, Mr. Mustang will not only be benefiting Ralston Valley, it will also be helping an organization called Hoops to Hope. Hoops to Hope uses the game of croquet to bring people living with Alzheimer’s back into the game of life. This organization began when founder James Creasey (aka jiminy wicket) was losing his father, Maxwell, to dementia. James discovered a way to connect with his father through the game of croquet–this idea sparked Hoops to Hope.
Ralston Valley students Joey Derks and Lane Robinson (17’) are both volunteers for the program. In an interview, Derks and Robinson explained the Hoops to Hope program and why they find it so amazing.
“Mr. Creasy, our sponsor, realized that a lot of the elders who have Alzheimer’s they don’t really get out of their care facilities as much and so what we try to do is give them a fun environment where they can get out of the care homes and just have a good time for an hour.” (Derks)
“The goal is to get those who might not get as many visits from their families, out of their homes and try to get them to smile.” (Robinson)
“We measure success in what Creasy calls smiles per hour, and that’s just how many people we can get to smile in one hour.” (Derks)
Derks and Robinson also talked about how they went to Mr. Creasy to discuss how Ralston Valley could get involved with the organization.
“Quite a few of our volunteers knew someone with Alzheimer’s.” (Derks) Robinson commented, “Our role has diminished because so many kids are coming to help set up, and so now Joey and I come because we just like being there.”
Hoops to Hope will be starting on Wednesday, April 13th in the RV library with a session to follow every other Wednesday.
“At each mat we have maybe four elders playing at once, they have a lot of fun and we usually try to bend the rules to their liking. We have this one guy named John, who is pretty advanced with Alzheimer’s, so he just likes to swing at the ball and not really play.” Robinson added, “it gets him smiling.”
“John does not want to stop playing and never wants to give up his mallet.” Robinson adds, “one time we had to let him carry his mallet all the way to the van before he handed it to one of us.”
Mr. Mustang proceeds will be going to Hoops to Hope. Robinson states, “Jiminy Wicket told us that money shouldn’t be a problem because they have funds to provide us with the $500 equipment that it takes, but especially at a school like this where we figured we could raise that money, we wanted to pay him back. The equipment is being lent to us right now and after Mr. Mustang we are hoping to pay Wicket back so he can continue with the program at other schools.”
Robinson and Derks are trying to spread awareness of the organization around the school so that we can have more volunteers and elders. Derks states, “Right now we just use one retirement house called Brookdale Arvada and I’d like to have more than one house and get it to a larger venue. This is the first year for this program at Ralston and we want it to continue.”
Show your support for Hoops to Hope by attending Mr. Mustang on April 15th, doors open at 7pm in the Ralston Valley Auditorium. Hoops to Hope will begin Wednesday, April 16th in the library. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged! For more information on Hoops to Hope, click below.