For the fifth year in a row, the Denver Nuggets are hosting Catholic Families Night at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, Feb. 24, where they will face-off against the Los Angeles Clippers for a regular season game. Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila will once more be the special guest for the evening’s game, and Catholic youth from around the archdiocese will have the chance to be directly involved with the game, including VIP experiences, the flag presentation, and forming a high-five tunnel for the Nuggets before the game.
Catholic Families Night was once more organized this year by Gold Grown Foundation CEO and former Denver Nugget Bill Hanzlik, in conjunction with Jeff Stemper of the Denver chapter of the Saint Sebastian Project, Tom Sauer, Nick Burns and Mark Strawbridge, Director of the Denver Catholic Schools Athletic League.
A portion of the proceeds from Catholic Families Night will benefit the Denver chapter of the Saint Sebastian Project, a nonprofit organization that provides grants to schools for their athletic programs. The Saint Sebastian Project began in Los Angeles in 2008, and Stemper started the Denver chapter in 2011.
The grants Saint Sebastian offers generally go to new sports uniforms or equipment for the schools. However, they also do what Stemper called “scholarshipping,” which helps to address the fees associated with enrolling a child in an athletic program. Stemper said that a lot of families have a hard time affording these fees, and are sometimes even forced to turn their children away from athletic programs, simply because they can’t afford them.
“We’ll grant money to help the schools pay those fees,” Stemper said. “We’re up to about 20 schools that we currently help in the Denver Metro area.”
Annunciation Catholic School in Denver is one example of a school that Saint Sebastian has assisted with paying athletic fees. This past year, they also began to provide assistance to Bishop Machebeuf High School and Frassati Catholic Academy. Other schools they’ve helped in the past include Arrupe Jesuit High School and St. Francis de Sales School.
Catholic Families Night
Denver Nuggets vs. L.A. Clippers
Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m.
1000 Chopper Cir. Denver, CO
Tickets start as low as $18