It’s been over 20 years since Paul Savramis founded Rising Stars back in 1996 as a way to give back to the community that gave him so much. Today, Rising Stars serves hundreds of boys and girls throughout Long Island and is continuing to work on addressing the need of expanding its popular and very successful youth programs to other areas.
Hearts and Hoops 2016
According to Paul Savramis, parents and students continue to be the most valuable resource Rising Stars has. This holds especially true during the holidays. Rising Stars hosts a number of charitable giving opportunities each year, with Hearts and Hoops being perhaps the most impactful. Hearts and Hoops was started in 2015 and brings together more than 100 student athletes from 4th through 8th grade to lend a hand to several local charities. “It’s one of our biggest successes of the year,” states Savramis. “The feel-good barometer goes off the charts with this one,” Savramis added. “Doing for others during the holidays is a gift you can give to yourself that just keeps giving!!”
Rising Stars members from both boys and girls teams spent the evening of December 19th filling care packages for soldiers as well as Ronald McDonald House (RMH) families. Operation Gratitude offers active duty men and women a small piece of comfort from home while the RMH gives families of terminally ill children a place to rest outside of the hospital. Paul Savramis also noted that students wrote caring letters and made cards for local homebound seniors to be distributed with food for the needy through Meals on Wheels. “Other charities that received assistance from Rising Stars were The Hance Family Foundation and the Homeless Bus,” says Paul Savramis. The Hance Foundation does events for our girls such as “Beautiful Me” during the year and we also spend time with RMH.
Events such as Hearts and Hoops are a great asset to the community, but also allow the students and families of Rising Stars the chance to weigh in on the program. Paul Saramis receives hundreds of letters each year and personally reads all of them.
“Thank you for the kind tokens of appreciation and letters at the holidays you helped guide our son in with preparation …We cannot express the feelings it gave us as parents to receive such gratitude from our son…”
“I have the greatest respect for what Rising Stars represents and how it continues to help young people throughout their lives…”
“When we signed our son and daughter up for your programs we knew we were getting a great basketball program. What we weren’t prepared for was the level of life skills that you would put in for these children. Rising Star’s does so more for our children off the court than they could ever do on the court. Thank you!! We need more programs like yours so that less children would suffer from what is out there.”
“The Rising Stars Foundation is the best vehicle I know for children to learn the values and life skills they need…”
It is feedback such as this that allow both Rising Stars and Paul Savramis to continue learning, growing, and helping children to learn and grow through play and team collaboration.
For more information on Risings Stars including the latest news, events, and outreach programs, visit RisingStarsInc.org.