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Using Basketball to Court Injured Vets

August 27, 2013 By:
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Harrison Klevan

Mitzvah Hero: Harrison Klevan, 13, is quite the trooper: The Bala Cynwyd Middle School eighth grader planned and staged Harrison Klevan’s Hoops for Wounded Troops: 3 Vs. 3 Basketball Tournament to benefit two local soldiers.

What It’s All About: The tournament took place in June, with 15 teams made up of 7th and 8th graders. Members of the Lower Merion High School varsity basketball squad refereed the event and also put on a clinic with the middle-school players. The game scored a lot for the cause, netting $3,500 for Sergeant John Fleming and naval hospital corpsman Jay “Doc” Raffetto, injured vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

Why this cause? “Because wounded troops have sacrificed so much to keep me safe,” says the appreciative teen, a resident of Merion Station and member of Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood. 

Not a One-Time Thing: Harrison volunteers regularly with Philadelphia Treats for Troops, helping send out care packages to active members of the military. He’s no stranger to the organization: His family — parents Fred and Sandy Klevan and 16-year-old sister Victoria — started it in 2006 “when our friend was deployed to Iraq.”

Good for Them: Raising so much money at the tournament made Fleming and Raffetto "very happy, and I was able to include my family and friends," Harrison says. Is it any wonder who Harrison’s heroes are? “My parents and the troops." 

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