By Jessica Hoover
The Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation will conduct its seventh annual Game Day at Conner Prairie to support STEM, literacy, mental health and wellness initiatives in the 21 schools in the district.
Game Day began as a March Madness event but is now a casual, sports-themed gathering. It is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22.
“Game Day is the largest fundraiser annually for HSE Schools,” said Justin Hirnisey, executive director of Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation. “We coordinate with all 21 schools. They’re all involved. Every one of the parent-teacher associations, the PTOs, the athletic departments of the high schools, they all support the event.”
The event will included televised basketball games and a Pop-A-Shot basketball tournament between the schools.
“We have each school pick who they want as a representative, and then we do a whole bracket,” Hirnisey said. “Then for about an hour they battle it out in an elimination tournament. At the end of it, we donate some of the proceeds from the night back to the school that wins.”
Game Day will feature live music by the ‘90s party band Mixtape, which is led by Ryan Ahlwardt, a 1999 Hamilton Southestern High School graduate. Ahlwart is a singer-songwriter, arranger and alumnus of the a cappella group Straight No Chaser.
There also will be a silent auction online and at the event with more than 300 items up for bid. Participants can bid online at qtego.net/qlink/hssf starting Feb. 15 until bidding closes at 9 p.m. Feb. 22.
Game Day is for ages 21 and up and individual tickets are $75 at hsefoundation.org/events/game-day/.
“If people are supportive of public education in the Fishers area, or even Hamilton County, and they want to come out and have fun for a good cause, this is the perfect event for them,” Hirnisey said.