Local Coach and Disney Spell Success: Shooting For a Cure
It was ten years ago, Mike Wilson was the head Coach of the Pembroke Girl's Basketball Team when a player came to him with the idea of raising money for cancer.
NEWS 4 Buffalo reports that the player, unselfishly wanted to honor another coach’s wife who was battling breast cancer and Wilson was immediately on-board.
“As a teacher and a coach, that doesn’t get any better. You’re trying to influence people in the right way to do the right things and here in Pembroke, we’re doing that.”
To pull it off, he knew the perfect person, his father-in-law Bryan Whittman, a former Disney executive.
“I’m the guy who thinks of giant events with thousands of people raising millions of dollars,” Whittman said.
Whitman, the Hamburg native worked at the top of the Disney organization, planning the opening of parks, movie premieres, cruises, and more.
Shooting for a Cure in its first year raised 4,100 dollars.
Shooting for a Cure has left a permanent mark on the hearts and spirits of every student at Pembroke High School.
Mackenna Johnson, remembers being in elementary school and attending the event. Now, Mackenna is on the varsity squad and gets to play in the highly anticipated game.
“I have been involved with Shooting for a Cure for so long, but now that I can play, and knowing that I am giving back, motivates me. I want to bring everyone together to make a difference,” said Mackenna.
Mike Wilson has taken a step back from coaching, but is still heavily involved with Shooting for a Cure.
“I don’t think any of us were aware of how much it impacted our community; just small town Pembroke,” said Mike. “We are not a big district but regardless, cancer has impacted so many people, no matter what type, in our area.”
Determination along with a giving community with a big heart, plus a little Disney magic, has led to more than 152-thousand dollars raised for Roswell. They’re hoping to pass the 200-thousand dollar mark this year.