Todd Smith, a former marine from Middlesboro, has started a local charity to raise money for wounded soldiers.
Smith, a graduate of Middlesboro High School, served in the marines for four years. Since returning from the corps, he has had fellow marines commit suicide and countless others have been injured or killed.
“The wounded warrior regiment helps marines and sailors returning from war, get back to their regular daily lives,” he said. “The regiment also helps marines dealing with the thought of suicide and helps them get the counseling they need.”
Smith said he spoke with Derek Anderson, a member of the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats national championship team, and they came up with the idea of starting this charity for wounded soldiers in the area.
Smith said Anderson is committed to attending an event each year to help support the cause and sign autographs.
“As of right now we are working with Bell County High School to host a men’s basketball tournament on Dec. 1, with all the money raised going to the charity,” says Smith.
Smith said they are raffling a 1996 signed basketball from Jeff Sheppard and his fellow teammates, along with movie tickets, free gas and free car wash passes.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at Tri-State Physical Therapy in Middlesboro. The cost is $2 per ticket or three tickets for $5. All money benefits the wounded soldiers foundation.
“We are currently in the process of contacting local businesses to donate more movie tickets, discounts or anything we can use in the raffle,” Smith said.
Smith noted there will be “Hoop’n for Heroes” T-shirts for sale.
“For a donation of $100, local businesses can place their advertisements on the back of the t-shirts for one year,” he said.
“Tri-state Physical Therapy was our first sponsor and Scott Huddleston from Coca-Cola will be giving us Coke products to sell for the charity as well,” said Smith.
If any teams are interested in playing in the basketball tournament the cost is $125 per team.
Contact Todd Smith for more details or if you have any questions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606.269.2192.
You can also follow Hoop’n for Heroes on Facebook or Twitter.
Chase Smith is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted at email@example.com.