By Amy Samin
The day after their impressive victory over Nes Ziona, the players and staff Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv split up to make the annual pre-Chanukah visit to hospitals in two different cities: Schneider in Petach Tikvah, and Rambam in Haifa.
Head coach Guy Goodes ad assistant coach Pini Gershon went to Schneider, as did team manager Nikola Vuj?i?, captain Yogev Ohayon, and players Jeremy Pargo, Brian Randle, and Alex Tyus. They were joined by the team’s mascot, Donny the Dog, who is a favorite with children of all ages. They posed for photos with all who asked, and handed out team products to the excited children (and their parents) along with packages of candy which the club purchased from Akim (the National Association for the Habilitation of Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities) of Ramat Gan – Givatayim, with all of the proceeds going to the advancement of people with intellectual disabilities.
The group that visited at Rambam was accompanied by representatives of one of the team’s sponsors, Klil Industries Ltd. and the club’s manager of community relations, Doron Jamchy. The players included Sylven Landesberg, MarQuez Haynes, Jake Cohen, Nate Linhart, and Alex Mari?.
Head coach Guy Goodes said during the visit: “It’s exciting, and it’s a privilege to put a smile on the faces of these children. Every day we are busy focusing on the results on the court, and suddenly it all seems marginal when you see kids who are fighting every day for a healthy life.”
Assistant coach Pini Gershon added: “We get a kind of satisfaction from putting smiles on the faces of these kids. I wish they would all be healthy. Unfortunately, I hear that they will be building more wings and buildings here, but the work they do is holy. Here there are no distinctions between religion, race, or nationality.”
Jeremy Pargo described his feelings about the visit: “It’s tough seeing kids who have to be in this kind of situation. I’m happy we can at least make them smile, I’m sure it gives them and their families a little bit of pleasure. Those are the kinds of small things we can do. We’re nothing without these kids, and without our fans. When I’m here, I’m not thinking about basketball.”