One coach, a basketball game & lasting memories

UPDATE – “Battle for Bauer” raised nearly $35,000 by midnight Saturday, exceeding their goal of $15,000.

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s one thing to fight battles on your own, but when a community comes together to fight them with you…it’s a different story.

That’s exactly what the city of Williamston did today for one local basketball coach battling the inevitable.

Nearly 8 months ago, the un-imaginable happened to Williamston High School boys basketball coach Jason Bauer.

“Last March our coach, our head varsity boys basketball coach felt ill,” said Heather Lewis, Co-Organizer of “Battle for Bauer.”

Bauer felt so sick, he went to the doctor and it was there he found out he had brain cancer…..

He’s been battling the disease ever since.

“It’s been up and down a lot and we’ve had to rearrange our lives and how we do things,” Dawn Bauer, wife of Jason stated.

The news spread like wildfire and the community wondered what they could do to help…until this idea came into play…

“We’re doing the longest running basketball game in Michigan history,” Lewis said.

The 18-hour long basketball game is a fundraiser to take Bauer and his family on a trip to Disneyworld for the holidays.

“His family has been through a lot these past couple months ever since we found out he was diagnosed with the cancer and we’re just trying to bring a sense of relaxation for his family and like fun. They always say where dreams come true so why not send them there,” Basketball player Cole Kleiver added.

Hoop after hoop, dozens of players hit the court to create a lasting memory for Bauer and his family…but the slam dunk of today’s game was when Bauer was presented a $10,000 check from an out-of-state foundation.

“I’m very grateful for that, it’s encouraging it gives us a lot more strength to keep going and that people are behind us,” Dawn Bauer stated.

The Bauer family says they’re overwhelmed with love and support from the community.

“It just shows people what a community can do, you know that it truly takes a village,” said Lewis.

It’s a temporary gift, that will leave a lifetime of magical memories.

At last check, more than $20,000 dollars has been raised. Organizers say that dollar amount exceeds their goal. The event goes until midnight.

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