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Hoops for Puerto Rico

October 01, 2018

Amanda Ortiz '20 felt "completely helpless" after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, where many of her friends and family - including her grandmother - lost their homes. Ortiz, a junior and recent transfer to Lasell, realized that she could combine her passion for basketball and her yearning to aid affected families through a fundraiser.

The event, Hoops for Puerto Rico, took place on August 22 in the form of a basketball clinic for young players aged 7 to 13. Ortiz worked with her former high school coaches and Newton-area friends to organize the event, which took place at Newton North High School.

With 15 students in attendance, Ortiz conducted basketball drills and short games to raise money. The relief funds will travel with her to Puerto Rico this December.

"If I could help even one family in the process of coping with such a tragedy, I knew I'd feel a sense of accomplishment," she said.

The clinic's success will enable her to distribute the proceeds evenly between "five or more families in need of money and other necessities."

Ortiz has organized a GoFundMe account to generate additional support for struggling families ahead of her trip to Puerto Rico.