For Pittsford School District Students, finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is an annual tradition they take great pride in. The reward is not for them, but for the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. Since 2001, Pittsford Mendon and Sutherland basketball players have hit the court for the Annual Rainbow Classic, a friendly cross-town rivalry that has raised more than $500,000 for the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong since its inception.
The pivotal role these games play in the greater Rochester community is no doubt on the minds of fans excitedly cheering from the stands of the sold out event each year. At the heart of the Rainbow Classic are the students, staff and community members who first came together for this cause to honor the memory of Katelyn Pasley, a Park Road Elementary School student, and later to include the memory of Ryan McCluski, a 2002 Sutherland High School graduate. Both were patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital, and thename for the Rainbow Classic was inspired by Katelyn who drew rainbows while in the hospital.
The Rainbow Classic now honors the memory of many Pittsford students and has gained so much momentum over the years that students expanded the Rainbow Classic in 2018 to include a Benefit Concert and Silent Auction hosted by the District’s Tri-M Music Honor Society. To help beautify the walls of Golisano Children’s Hospital, PCSD art students have painted a mural for the teen lounge. “The Rainbow Classic is a wonderful opportunity to teach students about community service through athletics, art, and music,” said Pittsford Central School District Superintendent, Michael Pero. “It is important for students to learn that when they work together, they can make a difference in their community.”
Funds raised from the Rainbow Classic have supported various projects at Golisano Children’s Hospital, including a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit room, the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder program, and the Teen Lounge.Most recently, the proceeds of the Rainbow Classic have helped fund the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Golisano Children’s Hospital, which provides comfort for critically-ill children and their families.
For more information about the Rainbow Classic and how it has impacted the Golisano Children’s Hospital over the years, visit the Rainbow Classic web page of the District website at www.pittsfordschools.org.