The Rainbow Classic
Since the Rainbow Classic began in 2001, PCSD has raised over $500,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital. Every year, fans gather to cheer on the friendly cross-town rivalry between Mendon and Sutherland Varsity Basketball teams as they go head-to-head to support a good cause.
The Rainbow Classic fundraiser began as an idea of student athletes Lindsay Bartholf and Shannon Martin, their parents, and Coach Todd Julien 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 the name for the Rainbow Classic was inspired by Katelyn who drew rainbows while in the hospital. The event now honors the memory of many Pittsford students, and at its heart are the students, staff and community members who come together year after year to raise awareness and support for the Golisano Children's Hospital.
Over the years, funds raised from the Rainbow Classic have supported various projects at the hospital including a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit patient room, the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program, the Teen Lounge and more. To help beautify the walls of the teen lounge at Golisano Children's Hospital, PCSD art students have painted a mural. Proceeds from this year’s Rainbow Classic will support the Pediatric Palliative Care Program.
The rainbows Katelyn drew were the inspiration for the name of the Rainbow Classic fundraiser.
Open Letter from the Pasley and McCluski Families
Since 2001, the Rainbow Classic Pittsford Mendon-Sutherland basketball games have been played in memory of Katelyn Pasley and Ryan McCluski to raise funds for the Golisano Children’s Hospital. The tradition began as an idea of student athletes Lindsay Bartholf and Shannon Martin, their parents, and Coach Todd Julien. With the help of countless other Pittsford students, parents, and faculty, it blossomed into an annual community and school-wide project which honors the memory of the two former Pittsford students. The event serves as a fundraiser for projects at Golisano Children's Hospital which strive to enhance and ease the hospital stay for children and their families.
Through the efforts of Pittsford cheerleaders, players, and their families, and thanks to the philanthropy of individual donors and advertisers, the Rainbow Classic raises over $25,000 annually for Golisano Children's Hospital. Each year, the funds target and benefit a particular program and have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to these projects.
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Impact on Golisano Children's Hospital
2001 and Early Years
Katie’s Computers: laptop computers in the pediatric rooms helping patients achieve better communication with their families and friends.
Completed in 2010
Get Well Network: an interactive web-based system broadcast on monitors in pediatric rooms, allowing access to the internet, educational, communication and entertainment programs. Funds from 2010 were used to complete this project by purchasing 20 flat screen, HDTV monitors for the adolescent unit.
Five Years of Funds
Construction of new Patient Room: Proceeds from five Rainbow Classic’s helped fund the construction of a patient room in the new Pediatric Intensive Care unit. A plaque outside the door of the finished room credits the generosity of the Pittsford community as well as the organizers and sponsors of the Rainbow Classic.
2011 and 2012
Funds raised helped to support the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
2013 through 2016
Undertook a three-year commitment to outfit the Teen Lounge in the new Golisano Children’s Hospital building with comfortable furnishings, game consoles and computer stations. A mural created by Pittsford high school art students decorates a wall of the lounge.
2017 and forward
A three-year plan for the proceeds of the Rainbow Classic to support the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Funds will help expand staff and programs to facilitate the delivery of cutting edge care with heart and compassion.
Rainbow Classic Photo Gallery
2019 Rainbow Classic: Pittsford Students Raise More than $30,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital
Friday, December 20, 2019, was a night to remember for the Pittsford Central School District community! Pittsford Mendon and Sutherland students joined forces for the 19th annual Rainbow Classic cross-town rivalry basketball games and raised $30,150 for the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. This donation will be used to support the Pediatric Palliative Care unit.
As per the 19-year tradition, two Rainbow Classic basketball games were played at the University of Rochester Palestra the Friday before winter break. The event kicked off with the Girls Varsity basketball game, and Mendon High School defeated Sutherland High School, 71-49. After the check presentation to Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong, the Boys Varsity teams took to the court for the second game of the evening. Mendon High School earned the win, defeating Sutherland High School, 49-43.
“The Rainbow Classic is an amazing opportunity to unite the Pittsford Central School District community for a wonderful cause” explained 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.”
To learn more about what the Rainbow Classic means to the community, please watch this video.
The Rainbow Classic began in 2001 in memory of Katelyn Pasley, a Park Road Elementary School student, and later expanded to include the memory of Ryan McCluski, a 2002 Sutherland High School graduate. Both Katelyn and Ryan were patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The name for the Rainbow Classic was inspired by Katelyn who drew rainbows while in the hospital. The event now honors the memory of many Pittsford students and is so popular that it sells out year after year as students, staff and families come together to support the Golisano Children’s Hospital and pay tribute to the memory of loved ones.
Since 2001, Pittsford students have raised over $500,000 to support projects including Pediatric Intensive Care Unit rooms, the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder program, and the Teen Lounge, where Pittsford Central School District art students are creating a mural.
Check presentation at the 2019 Rainbow Classic basketball games.
2019 Rainbow Classic
for Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong
to support the
Pediatric Palliative Care Unit
“It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years”
Katelyn Pasley was a Park Road Elementary School student whose beautiful life was the inspiration for the annual Rainbow Classic event benefitting Golisano Children's Hospital. While a patient at Golisano Children's Hospital, Katelyn drew bright, colorful rainbows and those rainbows inspired the name of the Rainbow Classic. To honor Katelyn's memory, the Pasleys, the Bartholf and Martin families, and Coach Todd Julien came together to create the first Rainbow Classic in 2001.
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"Do everything to the extreme, you only live once"
Ryan McCluski was a Sutherland High School graduate who lived this quote and inspired others to do the same. Despite his struggle with disabling ataxia, he approached life with determination, strength and positivity. He loved sports and supported the SHS teams his brother and friends played on, never missing a game. He was an original SHS "Super Fan" and each year, in tribute to him, SHS students don "Super Fan" shirts at the Rainbow Classic games that now also honor the memory of him and his inspirational life.
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