Neither Snow Nor Sleet Can Stop Maine Tourney

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Despite snow and freezing cold, 250 participants and spectators turned out to support the 12th Annual Dr. Noel Paradise Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge, presented by Maine's credit unions.

Three-quarters of the registered teams were able to make it through a snowstorm to help raise a new record of $19,667.25, nearly $5,000 more than the previous record set last year.

The tournament field was comprised of co-ed teams from organizations, businesses and families from around southern and central Maine. Since the tournament began in 1994, the event has raised more than $75,000 for the Maine Children's Cancer Program. It is the longest running, continuous benefit basketball tournament in Maine.

Defending champion, To Life Chiropractic of Falmouth, became the first three-time winner of the tournament and completed the event undefeated. Runner-up at this year's event was WPOR (101.9) Radio. Old Storm, a group of professionals from Scarborough, finished third, a team called ELC, a team of friends from South Portland and Scarborough, finished fourth, with a team from Casco FCU rounding out the top five. The top four participants received plaques and the top 25 teams received t-shirts, with all participants receiving other prizes for playing.

"Many of the teams participate year after year and they bring their families, and it is fun to watch them grow and reconnect each year," said Jon Paradise, Governmental & Public Affairs Manager for the Maine Credit Union League. "This has become one big reunion for many participants." Paradise, who added his father's name to the event after he passed away in July 2004, noted that, even as it has grown, the event remains committed to its core cause of helping children with cancer. "In 1993, we started with seven teams and raised a little over $500 and have grown to a sold-out field with 36 teams and a record number of sponsors to raise nearly $20,000 this year. "

Paradise emphasized that all expenses are covered by Maine's credit unions so 100% of funds raised can go directly to the program, a fairly unique fact that makes the event even more special to sponsors and participants.

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