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HOOPS & Hoopla Raises Nearly $143,000 for Chronically Ill Children


More than 360 people raised $143,000 for the National Jewish Health Morgridge Academy while watching the men’s college basketball semifinal games on Saturday, March 31, at HOOPS & Hoopla. The fans’ night out event, presented by Greiner Electric, was held at Infinity Park Event Center in Glendale.

Former Denver Nuggets Walter Davis and Ervin Johnson joined guests to watch the two match-ups on 1,600 square feet of monster screens.

Former Denver Nuggets Walter Davis and Ervin Johnson joined guests to watch the two match-ups on 1,600 square feet of monster screens. When people weren’t glued to the best of college basketball, they enjoyed a gourmet buffet, open bar, silent auction, casino games, darts, arcade games and a strongman/strongwoman contest.

Between periods, Master of Ceremonies Ryan Harris, an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Championship team and co-host of 950-AM Altitude Sports Radio’s afternoon program, pumped up the group and applauded them for making a difference for the K-8 school for chronically ill children on the National Jewish Health main campus.

“Morgridge Academy is a unique part of the mission of National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation” Harris said. The school serves students with severe asthma and allergies, cystic fibrosis, immune conditions like HIV, and other illnesses. Harris spoke about how these chronically ill children receive cutting-edge research and care at National Jewish Health free of charge.

Before the second game tipped off, Jennifer McCullough, director of education for Morgridge Academy, explained how several full-time nurses and highly trained teachers help these children conquer their diseases and thrive. She also debuted a video of the students thanking the crowd for helping them breathe, sing, participate in PE, explore their academic curiosities and succeed in school.


Winning Teams

Excitement for the event started building in October when eight local businesses, or “teams,” began spreading the word about Morgridge Academy and fundraising for their designated Morgridge Academy classrooms. “Coaches,” or members of the HOOPS & Hoopla committee, lead each team’s efforts.

Many of the teams put baskets out at their corporate offices and sold mini basketballs as a fundraiser for their classrooms. The sales of the basketballs continued at the event and online after the close of HOOPS & Hoopla. Six coaches surpassed their previous fundraising totals with Greiner Electric breaking their all-time fundraising record, bringing in nearly $70,000.

In recognition of this new record, Kris Wintroub and Tom Tarver, coaches of Team Greiner Electric, were named MVPs of the event. Crystal Peden with The CPI Group Team received the Rookie of the Year Award as a first-time coach, and Bill Gregor of Team Mortenson Construction earned the Spirit of the Game Award for coaching his team to reach their goal. 

Adding to the fun for the evening was a strongman / strongwoman contest. For a $5 donation, attendees could take a swing at the high-striker machine and see who could get the high score. It wasn’t until the end of the evening that anyone was able to ring the bell, and then five men and one woman all hit that top mark. It came down to a strike-off, leaving the strongest man and woman standing, and more than $400 in donations going to Morgridge Academy.

The 2018 HOOPS & Hoopla coaches were Peter Fox, Trautman & Shreve; Craig Gallogly, CED; Bill Gregor, Mortenson Construction Company; Katherine M. Hartzler, Jet Linx Denver; Jerry Laflen, BKD, LLP; Crystal Peden, The CPI Group; Tom Tarver, Greiner Electric; and Kris Wintroub, Greiner Electric.
Event sponsors were Full Court Sponsor Greiner Electric; Radio Sponsor Altitude Sports Radio; Sports Bar Sponsors CED and Southwire, as well as Graybar; and Slam Dunk Sponsors Gexpro, Mortenson Construction Company and Trautman & Shreve.

For future HOOPS & Hoopla event or sponsorship information, contact Clem Connolly at or visit

Morgridge Academy at National Jewish Health is a unique, free day school for chronically ill students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Its mission is to provide a safe, friendly and healthy school environment where students succeed academically, medically and socially.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

We have many faculty members, from bench scientists to clinicians, who can speak on almost any aspect of respiratory, immune, cardiac and gastrointestinal disease as well as lung cancer and basic immunology.

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