Recap on Catalyst fundraiser in honor of SHS alumni

Stevenson and Catalyst club hosted a three on three basketball tournament on October 9th in order to raise money and create awareness of drug prevention and misuse.

The SeanB 3on3 tournament was in recognition of Sean Bardos, a Stevenson alumni who died from his addiction to prescription drugs.

“Sean was a Stevenson alumni who grow up in the area, participated in basketball, was very well liked and was an overall really nice guy,” Cristina Cortesi, co-sponsor of Catalyst Club, said. “He just ended up getting into prescription drugs and it ended up taking over his life with the disease of addiction.”

After his death, his family and friends wanted to honor Sean by hosting a basketball tournament, celebrating his favorite hobby, and to draw attention to the misuse of prescription drugs in the community. The Bardos family collaborated with the Stevenson community, and the money raised was divided between the Catalyst Club, and drug prevention and intervention organizations Stand Strong Coalition and Live4Lali.

The main goal was to raise awareness and funding for prescription drug misuse and to show we don’t have to hide behind the stigma of addiction, Cortesi said.

The planning for the basketball tournament began in March 2015, and consisted of brackets where teams of three to four would compete for a medal in each age group. There were a variety of age groups, from 12 and under, to even up to 25 year olds.

In addition, raffle prizes like Bulls tickets could be won to raise money, and leftover prescriptions could be dropped off at the sports center to be properly disposed of.

“A lot of kids tend to think that prescription drugs are okay because the doctor is prescribing them, but in fact the prescription drugs resulted in the death of Sean Bardos,” said Jamie Epstein, coordinator of the tournament and catalyst club. “If a doctor prescribes a medicine to someone else does not mean it is safe for you.”

Over $10,000 was raised according to Epstein. In total, 45 teams participated in the basketball tournament, and about 180 people attended, including the Bardos family.

“”When I joined Catalyst, I found a very big community there with people with different personalities and interests, but we were all united by one thing, so it really feels like a home there,” said Mallory Kalish ‘17, president of Catalyst club and participant in the tournament.

With the money they raised, Catalyst is looking to the future to provide education and a program towards drug misuse.