The Ferndale and St. Bernard’s girls basketball teams will promote a worthy cause this week, when they meet in a Little 4 showdown at Ferndale High on Thursday night.

The two programs will join forces to hold a fundraiser for the V Foundation, which funds cancer research.

The night will feature a JV and varsity game between the two schools, with players and coaches wearing special t-shirts for the occasion.

The fundraising event will also feature t-shirts for sale, along with a bake sale, a 50/50 raffle and a half-court shot competition at halftime of the varsity game.

All the coaches and players have been involved in the fundraising efforts.

“We’d love to get as much community support as possible from St. Bernard’s and Ferndale,” said SB head coach Mark Gardner, who is hoping for a big turnout.

The fundraising event is becoming an annual tradition at Ferndale.

Last year, head coach Jamie Ellsmore and the Wildcats held a special “We Back Pat” game, fundraising for the Pat Summit Foundation, which was created to help with research and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease and named after the legendary women’s basketball coach.

And this year, the St. Bernard’s players wanted to help out.

“I thought it was a great idea last year when I saw her do it, and I wanted to make sure we did something this year when we played them,” Gardner said. 

The V Foundation for Cancer Research — commonly referred to as the Jimmy V Foundation — was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. 

It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research, and all funds raised on Thursday will go directly to the foundation.

The JV game is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the varsity game set for 7:30 p.m.

Both head coaches will talk to the crowd about the fundraiser before tip-off.

“It’s a sports rivalry, but we’re all on the same team,” Gardner said. 


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.