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Presenting the ceremonial check to Jim Hughes are, from left, Charlie Janovsky, Spencer Warezak, Eric Warezak, Hughes, Tai Daniels and Maya Johnson. Spencer Warezak and Daniels will serve as emcees at this year's CATCH Night of Champions event Wednesday, Oct. 16, at The Henry in Dearborn. photo by Renee Landuyt.

October 03, 2013
In the spirit of service and goodwill, first to fifth graders at Grosse Pointe Academy participated in the annual CATCH Fun Run, helping to raise $4,485 in donations for CATCH, or Caring Athletes Teams for Children's and Henry Ford Hospitals.

The amount is an event record at the Academy.

"This kind of event is so heartwarming to me," said Jim Hughes, executive director at CATCH, on hand at the Academy Friday, Sep. 27, to receive the ceremonial check. "I tell Sasha (Murphy) every time I come out here, it's like the most favorite day of the year to me. I can't tell you how rewarding it is."

As an extra incentive, an outside group of donors vowed to match any funds raised up to $2,000. Judge Lisa Neilson and Jeffrey T. Neilson, Robert Beck, Truckspring.com and Jeffery Parsigian contributed in matching the amount from students.

Their contribution helped the Academy set its record donation.

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Last year's fundraiser brought in $711.

"To raise a little over $4,000 is substantial in a family's life who is making a choice between going to work and going to spend a week in the hospital with their sick child," said Sasha Murphy, Academy community service coordinator. "To me, that's just likeā€¦"

CATCH is a local charity organization, started by then-Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson in 1987, that offers items and services that improve quality of life for the sick at Children's Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital whose special needs might otherwise go unattended.

This is the Academy's 13th consecutive year running the event, in which students donate money to participate in a fun run around the school's lacrosse field.

"We're just extremely grateful to the Academy," Hughes said, noting that, in the past, University Liggett School also has raised funds for the organization. "The Grosse Pointes have been very good to CATCH. We have a good history in the area."

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