The Rockville High School boys and girls basketball teams will host a Friday night doubleheader with a promotion that organizers hope will serve as a one-two punch in a fight against cancer faced by one of their own.
Lily Weaver, the daughter of Rockville High physical education teacher and former coach Frank Weaver, is battling Ewing's sarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor diagnosed in about 50 children each year.
Lily was diagnosed in August, at age 10. Since then, Rockville High has collected money by selling yellow “Lily’s Hope” wristbands, passing donation buckets at football games and a girls soccer game where proceeds went to the Lily’s Hope foundation created to help the family with living expenses, The Gazette reported in October.
Amy Weaver, Lily’s mother, has taken a year of unpaid leave from her teaching job at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Germantown. Frank Weaver recently took an unpaid leave of absence from his job at Rockville to focus on his family.
A Frederick News-Post article in November detailed the family’s battle against the disease.
Friday’s final home basketball games of the regular season have been dubbed a “Coaches Against Cancer Double Rampage." They will feature special halftime entertainment, a bake sale, a 50/50 raffle and sales of shirts and “Lily’s Hope gear,” including the popular wristbands. Fans are encouraged to wear yellow.
Every dollar raised will go to support the Weaver family, who is expected to be in attendance.
“It’ll be an emotional night for them to see all the people helping out,” said Rockville High athletic director Michael Hayes, a close friend of the Weavers, who live in New Market.
The Rockville Rams host Quince Orchard in a girls game at 5:15 p.m. and a boys game at 7 p.m.
A post on the Lily’s Hope Facebook page is encouraging people to vote to make the boys game the Toyota's HighSchoolSports.Net “Game of the Week.” As of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the game led the online poll with nearly three-quarters of the total votes cast. The poll winner will have game highlights broadcast during the 11 p.m. newscast on WUSA, Channel 9.
The effort for Lily has included well wishes from the Washington Redskin cheerleaders and from teen idol Justin Bieber and a benefit concert by Somewhat Superhero, a band comprising Rockville High students, ABC7 reported.
“I’ve always known it’s been a tight-knit community,” said Hayes, in this 11th year teaching at Rockville. “People who come here don’t always know that.”
For their efforts, Rockville High’s student body was named a “Harris’s Hero” by ABC7 anchor Leon Harris.
“What has been so wonderful—if you can say something is wonderful about a very sick little girl—is how the community has come together to support the family,” said Rockville High principal Debra Munk.
For more information, see Lily’s Hope on Facebook.