The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Annual Hoops for Harris event a success

On April 6, the annual Hoops for Harris event took place in the SHS Arena. The annual event consists of four sections of round-robin style basketball tournaments with teams of three to four players. The first section of games consists of third and fourth graders, the second fourth and fifth graders, the third seventh and eighth graders, and lastly ninth grade and above.  All proceeds from the event, which is hosted by the Mark Harris Fellowship Program (MHFP) along with SHS student council, go towards providing the funding for the students enrolled in the Mark Harris Fellowship Program.

Following the sudden death of Mark Harris, SIS principal from 2009-2014, a group of students founded MHFP as a way to honor Harris’s legacy and continue helping students in the way Mark Harris had helped them. Currently the program is run by  Mark Harris’s wife, Erin Harris, executive director of MHFP

It was founded in 2015 by some former students of my husband, Mark Harris. When he passed away, they approached me, in early 2015, saying that they had this idea,” Erin Harris said. “[The students] approached me and asked for my blessing and I gave them my blessing. And probably about a year later they asked me to be involved.”

The goal of the organization is to provide support and financial assistance for college to students from low income families where neither parent received a bachelor’s degree. Not only do students in the program receive financial support, but also access to UW-Milwaukee’s Future Success Program. 

“The goal [of the program] is just to provide foundational support and financial support for students that need it. Most of the students in our program are first generation college students.”

For the majority of the enrolled students finances are the most pressing issue for their higher education journey, MHFP tries to minimize this burden with financial aid. 

“For most of our students, the financial part is the biggest obstacle to making [going to college possible]. So we increased our scholarship from $5,000 to $10,000.” 

Since 2015, the program has expanded, increasing to two students per grade level at SHS.

“Currently we have six students in the high school portion of the program and one that’s in college, that’s a sophomore in college.”

The Hoops for Harris event began in 2015 run by SHS student council, as a way to raise money for the Harris family in their time of need. 

“In 2015, in April, that event was the idea of the student council to help our family. It was a fundraiser [that] raised two to three thousand dollars [which] they donated to my family, which went into a college fund for my kids.”

In the following year, the funds were redirected.

“The student council offered to do the fundraiser again the next year. I said, that’s great, let’s do it, but let’s direct the money towards the Mark Harris fellowship program, so from then on every year, that’s where the funds have gone.”

Although the event was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the event has grown immensely regardless, raising more than $10,000 dollars for the past couple years. 

“…We raised $8,100 in 2019. Unfortunately we had to cancel the event at the last minute in 2020 due to Covid and then 2021 we couldn’t have it either. The last three years we’ve raised $13,000, $15,000, $16,000, so we’ve really grown.” 

Ultimately, Erin Harris hopes to expand the program to as many students as possible.

“We’ve grown the number of [students]. We used to have one sophomore, one junior, one senior in the program and now we have two in each grade. We’d like to continue to do that, but that all depends on fundraising.”