DANSVILLE — It was about so much more than the numbers on a scoreboard as two teams honored a woman who enriched their lives.
The Hoops for Hope Varsity Basketball Game with Hornell Red Raiders and Dansville Mustangs was about saying goodbye to Lisa Rosica on Dec. 15.
Before the heartfelt game there was a benefit put on outside of the High School Gym with Face Painting, Mr. Scribbles, Basket Raffles, 50/50 Raffles, and much more.
Dansville Central and Hornell City School rallied for Nick Rosica, Lisa’s son, and for the memory of an amazing woman.
Dansville Central Senior Gabby Rettberg told Genesee Country Express that she was so proud of everyone coming out for her best friend Nick.
“Literally everyone has helped me put this together,” she said. “The teachers, faculty, students, friends, and family are all here to support Nick. We are all friends of Nick, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Not everyone had the pleasure of knowing Lisa or know her son Nick, but that didn’t stop both schools from rallying for this beloved counselor and coach.
The entire place was packed as people came to donate, show support, and remember Lisa who passed away on Nov. 30 from ovarian cancer. The entire benefit raised $15,100 for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center.
“Everyone came out to play for Lisa tonight,” Rettberg said. “She made that kind of an impact on people’s lives. She was the most loving and compassionate counselor, coach, and friend.”
Dansville Central Business Teacher Sue Markowski said the entire Dansville and Hornell community pulled together for Nick Rosica.
“We all love Nick,” she said. “He is the most resilient young man I have ever met.”
Markowski said the entire community has really stepped up for Nick Rosica.
“It is important to Nick that he knows all of his teachers, teammates, coach and friends are here for him,” she said. “We are all his family. Nick is an excellent student, and he has always been driven.”
Dansville High School Principal Thomas Frazier said it is nice to see what a little town can do when they pull together in a short amount of time.
“I think it is nice to see both communities coming out for this,” he said. “Lisa was a great coach, so this leaves a hole in the Dansville Central community. I couldn’t be more proud of Gabby for putting this together. We took the road blocks out of the way, and helped them come up with realistic ideas they could achieve in a short time period.”
Dansville High School Assistant Principal Tom Hammel said this was a tremendous event.
“Nick has the support and love of his peers, and that is a testimony of the impact Lisa made on the community,” he said. “Nick is a rock star. There has been a lot of tremendous support from the community.”
Dansville Central Art Teacher Kristen Pullen said she is amazed by how the students put this all together.
“It is heartwarming to see them all stand behind Nick,” she said. “It is great to see them all support him during this difficult time. Nick is one of the strongest and kindest kids I have ever known. His mom would be so proud of him. She would be proud of him donating to the Cancer Center.”
Pullen said although the community is not very wealthy they are always looking out for one another.
“These students found a way to get blood from a stone,” she said. “They reached out to everyone the could.”
UR Medicine/Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard said even though it is sad that this happened to bring them all together she is honored to have the donation.
“I think it is wonderful they chose to remember Lisa this way,” she said. “I love seeing kids at this age understand what it means to donate to the community.”
Dansville Varsity Basketball Coach Dave Moodie said Hornell is known for being a very competitive team, and they played them very well at the event.
“The kids really enjoy the energy they get from the crowd,” he said. “This event was put on by the students, so a lot of credit goes out to them.”
Moodie said there was something much bigger tonight than the score of a basketball game.
“You look around at all of these emotional faces, and you know they all look out for one another,” he said. “This was about so much more than the score of a basketball game.”
Dansville Central Superintendent Dr. Paul Alioto said it is things like this that make him very proud to be a part of the community.
“This was about Lisa and the impact she made on both communities,” he said. “This is about her incredible relationship she had with her son. Nick is a Class Act and a man among boys. He is one of the most impressive students I have ever encountered.”
Alioto said this was not about a Basketball game, but the night was about so much more.
“This is about Nick, Hornell (City) School, Dansville Central, and the community having an opportunity to say goodbye to Lisa,” he said. “This was their way of honoring her memory.”
Dansville Central Junior Stefan Entwistle said that Nick has made a big impact on his life as a good friend.
“I still have my mom and dad, and there it not a person I respect more than Nick,” he said. “I am lucky I went to school with him. Nick leaves a mark everywhere he goes. He gets an idea in his head and no one can stop him. I hope Nick had closure tonight.”
When Nick Rosica had a foul shot the entire gym stood up for him, and that was a good moment for his friends.
“I loved watching the other team cheer when he made the basket,” Entwistle said. “Lisa and Nick touched a lot of people’s lives. Nick will remember this event for the rest of his life. He is a natural born leader, and has always played with his heart.”