Community coming together for Joey Groller
Rick Mondschein was in the midst of helping to piece together the Whitehall Class of 1972 reunion when the local sports personality realized a local cause needed some support.
Joey Groller, a sophomore on the Whitehall boy’s basketball team, was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Groller will have a six-month hospital stay and receive chemotherapy and other treatments on a daily basis.
“I know his uncle well, and we all wanted to do something,” said Monschein about Groller. “We set up a 50/50 drawing and will donate half of the proceeds to his family.
“We cleared everything with his family, and it is something that we have to do.”
Mondschein set up a page of www.myevent.com to give people the opportunity to donate to the cause under the hashtag #JoeyStrong. As of last week, the page raised $760 with the current goal of $1,000 well within its sights.
There also has been a Go Fund Me page constructed under the players’ name.
Late Tuesday evening, more than $33,000 was raised of the $50,000 goal. There also is a Facebook page about the story as well as the Zephyr Pride Foundation Facebook page that helps support the cause.
Head boys’ basketball coach Jeff Jones recognized Groller for his grit.
“Joey is a rising sophomore and the type of kid every coach wants on his team,” said Jones. “He is unselfish, hard working, scrappy and reliable as well as a true team player. Joey leads by his effort and work ethic.
“He’s the guy who is diving on the loose ball and cheering on a play by a teammate. Joey has a great basketball family and a community that will support him. Joey now faces a tough battle versus cancer.”
Mondschein and the Zephyr community will keep the faith.
“Hopefully, he (Groller) will recover,” said Mondschein. “There are a lot of people behind him.”
Mondschein also noted that the reunion group also will donate to a scholarship fund in the memory of 16-year-old Whitehall student and girls’ soccer player Mia Due, who was killed in a car crash Sunday night.