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Summer Dreams sponsors youth in need

Co-presidents+Shai+Branover%2C+Isabel+Lobon%2C+Ethan+Gainsboro%2C+and+Fiona+Lobon+%28left+to+right%29+worked+to+organize+the+annual+Summer+Dreams%27+basketball+tournament+which+took+place+at+the+Brookline+Teen+Center.+This+is+the+second+consecutive+year+the+event+has+been+held.+Photo+provided+by+Summer+Dreams
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Summer Dreams sponsors youth in need

Co-presidents Shai Branover, Isabel Lobon, Ethan Gainsboro, and Fiona Lobon (left to right) worked to organize the annual Summer Dreams' basketball tournament which took place at the Brookline Teen Center. This is the second consecutive year the event has been held. Photo provided by Summer Dreams

Co-presidents Shai Branover, Isabel Lobon, Ethan Gainsboro, and Fiona Lobon (left to right) worked to organize the annual Summer Dreams' basketball tournament which took place at the Brookline Teen Center. This is the second consecutive year the event has been held. Photo provided by Summer Dreams

Co-presidents Shai Branover, Isabel Lobon, Ethan Gainsboro, and Fiona Lobon (left to right) worked to organize the annual Summer Dreams' basketball tournament which took place at the Brookline Teen Center. This is the second consecutive year the event has been held. Photo provided by Summer Dreams

Co-presidents Shai Branover, Isabel Lobon, Ethan Gainsboro, and Fiona Lobon (left to right) worked to organize the annual Summer Dreams' basketball tournament which took place at the Brookline Teen Center. This is the second consecutive year the event has been held. Photo provided by Summer Dreams

Natalie Jew, Staff Writer

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Co-presidents Shai Branover, Isabel Lobon, Ethan Gainsboro, and Fiona Lobon (left to right) worked to organize the annual Summer Dreams’ basketball tournament which took place at the Brookline Teen Center. This is the second consecutive year the event has been held. Photo provided by Summer Dreams

The Summer Dreams basketball fundraiser was anything but ordinary. On the court, students fought to give inner city children the chance to go to summer camp: an opportunity these children would not have without the funds raised by the tournament.

“I played for you today,” junior Richard Khazanov said to children from the 10 Boys Initiative. “It’s a good charity I love basketball and I don’t really get many chances to play.”

The 10 Boys Initiative founded by Executive Director Dr. Carroll Blake is an organization working towards closing the achievement gap between White students and students of color. It supports boys from the inner city to grow socially and academically.

According to coordinator of the 10 Boys Initiative Donkor Minors, the program teaches the boys strategies they need in order to be successful.

The second annual Summer Dreams charity tournament raised $700 to give youths from Boston Public School and the 10 Boys Initiative their summer dreams.

The children are boys that stand out in academics, according to Summer Dreams co-president Shai Branover they’re good kids who work hard.

It cost $250 for each boy to go to Camp Manitou in Oakland Maine where for five days they get to waterski through East Lake, zip line down trees, see the Maine sunset and stargaze at night.

“We essentially raise money and sponsor kids to go up there,” co-president Fiona Lobon said.

At the tournament, 20 teams played 18 games raising almost enough for the transportation and cost of the camp for three lucky boys. The club hopes to make a difference in the lives of the inner city kids by giving them the life changing experience at Camp Manitou.

The Summer Dreams club sells custom made t-shirts for the cause and according to Summer Dreams co-president Isabel Lobon they hope to do a fundraiser for the holidays.

“We’re going to do a candy cane drive or some sort of thing like that,” Isabel Lobon, said. “We’re going to keep fundraising all throughout the school year.”

The winners of the three versus three tournament from both the girls and boys bracket took home Celtics tickets donated from the Dedham Athletic & Health Complex and Summer Dreams advisor and social worker Paul Epstein.

Summer Dreams was brought to the high school by co-president Ethan Gainsboro as a sector of the original foundation Summer Dreams, founded by Gainsboro’s stepfather Jonathan Penn in 2009.

“We made Brookline High a branch of that event manager Delia Kryzanski said. “We brought it here and everyone else joined from that.”

The organization is on Facebook and Instagram, however according to Fiona Lobon it gets around mostly by word of mouth, she hopes that it will get to wider audiences and more people.

This year Summer Dreams welcomed basketball players of a wide range in skill level and anyone to come watch and support the cause.

“We just tell our friends who tell their friends and it just gets around,” social media coordinator Alex Dukhon said.

Initially, there was debate about how to raise money for Summer Dreams. However, according to Branover they chose basketball because they knew there would be a publicity for it and people would get involved.

“We just figured this would attract the most kids, it was something we could get a facility and a hype around to get money for the program.”

The Summer Dreams @ BHS club meets every X-block in rooms 208 and 209, alternating every week, to fundraise and plan for the 2017 Summer Dreams program.

“We really just want anyone to get involved that wants to and you don’t have to come every X-block if you can’t,” Isabel Lobon said. “Anyone would be helpful.”

Boston Public Schools and Minors hope that together with the Summer Dreams @ BHS they can make a future for those who may not have one without their help.

“Youth that live in Boston may not always have access to Summer Dreams like experiences, so for many of them this is their first chance,” Minors said.

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Summer Dreams sponsors youth in need