Don Guanella School active in campus activities

By Cheryl Wagstaff
November 21, 2002

Chris Jones

The men’s basketball team scrimmaged the children from the Don Guanella Springfield Delaware County School for Boys on Sunday, Nov. 17.

The Don Guanella School is a residential facility for males from the age of 5 to 21 with special needs in Philadelphia.

Robert Neely, the activities director, arranges for the children to participate in different activities with local colleges and universities, such as Temple and Villanova. “It is more beneficial for the schools that we go to than for the kids although, the kids have a blast,” Neely said.

Leslie Danehy, associate athletic director, set up Sunday night’s scrimmage. It gave the children an opportunity to play with the men’s basketball team and show off their skills. Neely began taking the children to various schools to play basketball with the varsity teams when Chris Burke, star of “Life Goes On” and “Touched By an Angel,” came to the Don Guanella School and was an avid basketball player. Now they do it every year.

The men’s basketball team is not the only Cabrini team that plays host to the Don Guanella School. The men’s lacrosse team also holds scrimmages with the children.

Neal Newman, theater director, holds workshops with the children. “We have been doing scenes from different movies,” Patrick Lutz, of the Don Guanella School, said. Mary Laver, coordinator of community outreach and partnerships, also works with the school. It is one of the locations that first-year students visit on their day of service. Cabrini students get the chance to visit the Don Guanella School throughout the year at its school dances.

The children enjoy playing with the college students. Lutz’s favorite college basketball player is Brooks Sales, who graduated from Villanova last year. Don Guanella student Fred Yarbough prefers professional basketball and his favorite players are Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal

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Cheryl Wagstaff

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