EAST MOLINE, Illinois – On Friday, March 3, 2017 it was all about sportsmanship during a regional showdown between Moline and Ottawa.
But, the most important moment happened before tip-off when the Moline student congress came forward to make an announcement.
Last Tuesday, an EF3 tornado ripped through the town in Ottawa destroying homes and killing two people.
Moline students wanted to give back and show sportsmanship on and off the court. They started a donation drive to raise money for tornado recover efforts during lunch, 24 hours prior.
“To see all my class mates reach out for a town an hour and a half away is just incredible,” said Moline senior, Anna Finch.
“Right now they're in need so we're doing whatever we can to help out Ottawa,” added Moline Senior, Kara Christiansen.
The two rival teams joined at center court proving there was more than a title on the line. That’s when the Moline student congress presented the Ottawa athletic director with a $4,800 donation to help families recover from the tornado.
It was all a surprise no one saw coming.
“Their eyes just lit up, they were so excited,” said Finch.
“It’s an amazing feat by the Moline kids and the school and the whole community of Moline,” said Ottawa Athletic Director, Mike Cooper.
The entire Moline school district pitched in to help with the fund-raising. Community members and the booster club also made donations.
Moline won the Regional title 57 to 50.