MATCH Madness

Everyone has heard of MARCH Madness where college basketball teams face off. But, have you ever heard of MATCH madness? No? Well, let me tell you.

Match Madness is an annual fundraiser for the charity, Move A Mountain. By now you should know that Brother Andre's runs under Move A Mountain Mission, founded by Dan Gallagher.

Match Madness Day at Brother Andre's was split into two distinct parts, and it began with 9 o'clock Mass for the employees. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Mass, but my mom and I came shortly after. Last year we were divided into fundraising 'teams', and we were VERY competitive. Each team had an hour during which donors called in for that team. We spent a lot of time cheering for ourselves ( and, honestly, booing the others). This year there were no teams. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sass anyone...on second thought, I never needed teams to be sassy! I was fine. The Cafe was full to the brim with people, all there to celebrate and raise funds for Brother Andre's.

I was on the register for a long time, and it was crazy. Sarah was helping me; we did an awesome job taking everyone's orders. By the time my shift was done, I was exhausted!

To make the day even more special, we had guest Baristas who were major sports representatives: Mike McHenry, a former Pirate Catcher and current Bengals long snapper Cal Adomities. We also invited our buddy, Mike Clark. I think all of the celebrity Baristas did a fantastic job, and I'm grateful they were part of our day.

Wait! I totally forgot! We had one more Barista, and I bet you'll never guess who it was...  If you guessed the Pirate Parrot, you guessed correctly! Yea, the famous Parrot was part of our day. He even came behind the counter and Bridgette showed him how to make a few drinks. (I thinks he did pretty well for a parrot. lol.) I was in a few pictures with the Parrot when he was behind the counter, and he actually bit my head! Don't worry, it didn't hurt. That silly Parrot!!

After my shift at the register was over, I zoomed around talking to people for a little bit, then I ate something while my mom and I talked with some friends. Suddenly, it was time to go home and get ready for the big game.

The basketball game was at St Alphonsus gym, the same place as last year. My mom and I arrived a little early to get a seat. We soon found out that all of the Brother Andre's employees were going to sit up on the stage. In order to get there, I had to go around to the back of the stage. Dan showed me which way to go, so it turned out to be no big deal.

Eventually, all of us were on stage and the game, Priests v. Firefighters, started. Everything was exciting and loud! I sat between Bridgette and her future brother-in-law, and had to raise my wheelchair way up in order to see! (My Mom didn't sit with us, she was in the stands with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.) We were all having a loud, good time!

At half-time, we went on the court, and Bridgette announced each of our names. With each announcement, that person got to throw a t-shirt into the crowd. For some reason, nobody ever gave me one. I was kind of upset that I didn't get to throw a t-shirt, but, oh well, next year I am definitely going to throw SOME.

To our surprise, the Priests actually won! I know, what a shock! Before the game, there was talk about how good the Firefighters were this year. They had a girl on their team this year who was, supposedly, an extremely talented player, so everyone thought the Priests were toast. Somehow, someway, the Priests were able to pull it off. I think it had a lot to do with our cheering. Of course, as a former cheerleader, I LOVE to cheer. But I noticed that Corey and Seth (Emma's boyfriend) were definitely cheering the loudest and the longest! (Emma told me that Seth even lost his voice from all the yelling.) I was proud of the whole team, especially Father Joe and Father Chris, for pushing through and getting us a win.

The 2023 Match Madness fundraiser was a success. I think every part of the day was amazing, and everyone loved it. Thank You to all donors. We raised so much money, we went beyond our goal. The Brother Andre's fam had so much fun and we are glad all of you were able to be part of this wonderful day.