Kids Basketball League Helps Rising Star

Upward BasketballUpward is the world’s largest Christian-based sports league, making it a perfect fit for Rising Star to partner with each year at Westside Church in Omaha. Each year the league is held over and eight week span in January and February, with over 325 elementary aged kids participating this year.

This year marked the 4th season Rising Star has ran the concession stand for the league, giving children the chance to help out children in Uganda playing the sport they love, while hearing the message of Jesus. In the previous three years, the concession stand has raised over $12,000. This year we raised over $6,500; making it the most successful season yet.

Caleb Smagacz, Children’s Pastor at Westside Church said “So much in our culture tells our kids that life is all about them.  For me, the Upward concession stand is part of a larger battle against this pervasive self-centered culture that we live in.  We want to find as many opportunities as possible to push back against selfishness and to show the Upward players that life is not about us- its about God! We honor God by using what we have (in this case the concession stand) to bless others.  We honor God when we give to others.”

????????Contributing to the success was the sale of the world famous breakfast taco, with jalapeño bacon. We’ve sold over 80 pounds of bacon, 100 pounds of beef brisket, 100 pounds of pulled pork, more that 1,500 bottles of Gatorade and much more. Our fantastic volunteers donated more than 200 hours of time.

“We have so enjoyed our partnership with Rising Star through the concession stand” said Smagacz.  “We truly believe it is the best Upward concession stand in the world.  I can’t imagine any group being able to provide our level of great food at such a reasonable price.  Our parents love buying the food because it is so good but also because it goes to a great cause.  It is a win-win. “

Thank you to all the families of Upward and the volunteers that made our concession stand a success each year.