Basketball fundraiser benefits teacher and coach

Melissa Belcher (center) attended the charity event.
Melissa Belcher (center) attended the charity event.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Two area schools came together for charity basketball games in support of teacher and coach Melissa Belcher, who has made an impact in both schools.

Belcher was diagnosed three years ago with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord. She was formerly a volleyball coach at Central Catholic Communities and a teacher at Northview High School in Sylvania.

Before the high school basketball season each year, foundation games are often held to raise money for a charity of the teams' choosing.

"We decided to do it for Melissa," Northview Varsity Coach Terry Shadle said. "We thought it would be a great opportunity to bring the two schools together and raise some money for her."

Central Catholic Varsity Coach Jim Welling added that it was easy to make the choice to raise money for Belcher.

All money raised goes toward the Miracles for Melissa Foundation and to finding a cure for ALS.

"Just knowing her personality a little bit, we know that she'll fight for as long as she possibly can," Welling said. "We can't give enough back to her for what she means to so many."

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