This year marks the 3rd Annual live civilly March Madness Tournament of Giving, scheduled for March 18 at the Church Street Recreation Center. Hosted by the Moorestown Department of Parks & Recreation and supported by local businesses the tournament has become a spring favorite. Each year, this tournament has grown in participation and helps to fund the many nutritional outreach programs live civilly offers in conjunction with the Department of Parks & Recreation.

This year, the tournament will honor long time Moorestown resident, educator, volunteer and Recreation staff member, Richard “Mike” Bartello. Mike Bartello was a fixture within the Recreation Department starting at the young age of 16. As the youngest of 13 children he began working for the Recreation Department while in high school. “Whitey,” as he was known to his close friends, grew up in Moorestown, graduated from University of Pennsylvania and spent his career as a teacher at Pemberton High School. Mike continued his work with Parks & Recreation during summers and even after his retirement. While Mike worked in many facets of recreation, his true love was basketball and in addition to helping to run Recreation clinics, leagues and local basketball efforts, he volunteered for Board 34 (a basketball refereeing association) for more than 50 years. Mike’s chief interest was for the welfare of children and he impacted many children throughout his nearly 70 years affiliated with the Moorestown Department of Parks & Recreation.

The live civilly March Madness Tournament of Giving will honor his memory in this its third year. The referees from Board 34 will donate their time and officiate all nine hours of basketball games on March 18th. The Department of Parks & Recreation will host this amazing tournament in the beautifully renovated Church Street Recreation Center. This money raised by this event provides support for programs and services that benefit all youth – from the ExCELS (Extra Curricular Education and Life Skills) Snack Program that provides healthy snacks at the Open Gym Program daily, to the Summer Lunch Program which provides camper lunches during summer programs to the Make-N-Take Nutritional Outreach Programs offered in the Recreation Commercial Kitchen. All of these programs and services are offered by live civilly, free of charge. No child is required to pay, nor is any child ever denied services.

The live civilly March Madness Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, March 18 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Children’s games (3rd -8th grade) will play in the morning while overflow from 7th and 8th grade will play in the afternoon with high school and adult teams. Team entry is only $100 ($25 per person) for a team of four (each team is allowed one sub) and all proceeds go to live civilly’s nutritional outreach programs. Teams can make their own shirts or dress up (last year there were tutus!) and are guaranteed a three game minimum. Advanced registration is required!

For more information about registration, visit www.livecivilly.com and click on the March Madness image on the home page. To volunteer please visit our Volunteer Page and select the March Madness volunteer sign up. Youth and families can volunteer to help sell concessions, run the score boards, coordinate teams and courts and more! Service hours can be documented and will be verified. Questions? Email us at contact@livecivilly.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and “pin” us when you like us!

Join the live civilly Nation for a fun day of basketball and good will! And join the nation of people helping people helping people helping people. See you courtside!