Donate Life Night nets $7,255 behind Gambell’s effort


Members of the Pekin Girls Basketball Team presented Heather Butterfield from the Iowa Donor Network with check for $7255 on Monday, December 19.
When Maci Gambell wasn’t filling up the box scores on the basketball court in December, the Pekin junior was providing another kind of assist through a community service project she originally developed for a 4-H project.

“It started over this summer, when I wanted to do the project over organ donation,” Gambell said. “My mom and I decided that having two people in our high school that have had organ transplants, and that there’s not awareness of organ donation, that would be a good project to bring to the school.”

The Pekin Lady Panthers Basketball Team has engaged in the Iowa Hall of Pride Scrimmage event for several years in a row, which allows them to play an extra scrimmage game against Fairfield. In order to participate, the team must engage in a service project that is approved by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Spurred by her schoolmates and her mother, Christy, Gambell recommended the team host “Donate Life Night” for their December 9 game against Wapello.

The Gambells began working on this event as early as the summer with Maci creating a Facebook page-Donate Life Night-Pekin Girls Basketball-to inform community members of the event and to share facts of organ donation. As the social media page gained momentum, The Gambells, along with members of the girl’s basketball team and their families, started selling t-shirts as the first part of their fundraiser. On Giving Tuesday-the Tuesday following Cyber Monday-donations made through the Facebook page were matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with all fees waived. Continue reading