Number of Participants: 2
Hours Donated: 100
Value of Time Served: $1,690
Event Amount Raised: $45,000
Event Type: Disaster & Emergency Services
Date: May 28, 2020
Two Merrick siblings, whose grandfather died after battling COVID-19, spearheaded a virtual free-throw shooting contest in his honor that raised more than $45,000.
Madison and Michael Minniti, a seventh-grader and fourth-grader at Merrick Avenue Middle School and Norman J. Levy Lakeside Elementary School, respectively, hosted the contest in April to benefit City Harvest and the First Responders Children’s Fund. It was the first fundraiser they have held through their new charity called Hoops to Help.
The contest, which attracted about 130 participants, challenged them to make as many shots as possible in a two-minute span with family and friends donating funds based on each shot made through the mobile payment service Venmo. Participants ranged from classmates to individuals as far away as California.
The siblings were inspired to create the charity when they observed homeless people while returning from their grandfather Anthony Minniti’s burial in New Jersey.
“Whenever we’re driving, I feel bad for the homeless people,” Michael said. Of the fundraiser, he said: “We passed our expectations a lot. It feels good, but I’m also sad for them that they’re there in the first place.”
Michael, 9, also plays basketball with the Long Island Lightning, Empire Youth Athletics and Bellmore-Merrick Basketball League. Madison, 13, has appeared in school theater productions.