Rainbow Classic Recognized with "Outstanding Young People in Philanthropy Award"
The Pittsford Central School District Rainbow Classic was honored with the “Outstanding Young People in Philanthropy – Group” award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter (AFPGV) on November 5, 2021.
AFPGV recognizes local individuals and organizations who contribute to community causes through its annual National Philanthropy Day awards. The “Outstanding Young People in Philanthropy – Group” award recognizes service by a group of people, ages 10-23, who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy.
Since the Rainbow Classic began in 2001, PCSD has raised over $500,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital. Every year, PCSD students cheer on their team in the friendly cross-town rivalry between Mendon and Sutherland men and women’s varsity basketball teams as they go head-to-head to support a good cause. The fundraiser is an annual tradition of giving that has taught PCSD students about the importance of giving back to the community and compassion.
The Rainbow Classic began as a way to honor the memory of PCSD student Katelyn Pasley and later SHS graduate Ryan McCluski, both Golisano Children’s Hospital patients; and it now honors the memory of many Pittsford students. Katelyn, who drew rainbows while in the hospital, inspired the fundraiser’s name.
Over the years, funds raised from the Rainbow Classic have supported various projects at Golisano Children’s Hospital including a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit patient room, the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program, the Teen Lounge and more. Additionally, a mural created by MHS and SHS students decorates a wall of the Teen Lounge. As the scope of the event changes to meet the needs of Golisano Children’s Hospital, its core message of compassion and hope remains the same.
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
22nd Rainbow Classic Raises
over $60,000 for
Golisano Children’s Hospital
The Pittsford community once again came out in full support of the annual Rainbow Classic basketball games organized by Mendon and Sutherland High School students to support Golisano Children’s Hospital. With donations exceeding $60,000, Pittsford students, staff and community members cheered the Varsity Girls and Boys Basketball Teams as they hit the court for the 22nd Annual Rainbow Classic at the University of Rochester Palestra on December 22, 2022. This year’s donations will benefit Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.
During the sold-out event, Sutherland High School was victorious in both games, with a score of 58 SHS to 40 MHS in the Girls Varsity game; and a final score of 73 SHS to 70 MHS in the Boys Varsity game.
“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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