St. Francis High School Hosting Annual Basketball Tournament for Fight Against Child Cancer

An annual Memorial Basketball Tournament will again raise money for children who are fighting cancer.

This Saturday is the annual Katie Heintz Memorial Basketball Tournament at St. Francis High School in Traverse City. It’s the 14th year for the event, held in Katie’s honor. Katie Heintz was a basketball player at St. Francis who passed away in 2006 – at age 16 – after battle with leukemia.

Ever since then, the school and Katie’s family have put on the tournament to raise money for the Munson Hematology and Oncology Clinic. The event is hosted by Katie’s family, school leaders, and students from the Key Club. Elementary, middle school, and high school teams will take on faculty members in the Saturday night ball games.

Katie’s dad, Pat Heintz, says he gets goosebumps just thinking about it. “Just thinking about Katie and her playing in this gym, all the fun and the excitement. It’s interesting because she was not the type of person that would draw attention to herself. But we do this in her memory and the families love it and the kids love it, and it’s a great time.”

Pat Heintz says one of Katie’s former classmates is now a teacher at St. Francis and is also helping with the event. Last year they raised $17,500 for the clinic. And this year “Team Elmer’s” is offering a $20,000 match. The matching funds will go to the new Family Birthing Center at Munson.

Everyone is invited to Saturday’s spaghetti dinner at 5 p.m., and the games start at 6 p.m. For details click here.