Oct. 10, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State men's basketball team has adopted a family affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Cougar coaches and players will be collecting donations at Dissmores grocery store (1205 N. Grand Avenue) Friday, Oct. 14 from 3-5 p.m.
The Chimento (CHUH-men-TOE) family of Chalmette, La., a city located approximately eight miles east of New Orleans, is dealing with more than the loss of its home due to Hurricane Katrina.
A few days after being evacuated to the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie last month, Mike and Sherry Chimento took 10-year-old son Drew to the doctor's office for a routine appointment. However, the news they received was anything but routine as the Chimentos were informed Drew has leukemia.
Drew has begun his treatment, which is expected to last at least three years at a cost of about $100,000 annually. Both Mr. and Mrs. Chimento have been informed their insurance will cease to exist at the end of the month since the school where they were employed as teachers no longer exists due to damage caused by the hurricane.
"All of us in the men's basketball program are so fortunate to have our set of circumstances in Pullman," WSU Associate Head Coach Tony Bennett said. "If in some small way we can help a less fortunate family that has been affected by Hurricane Katrina, then we would love to do that."
The men's basketball team learned of the Chimentos' plight through Debi Sterk, wife of WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. The Sterks, who lived in Louisiana while Jim worked at Tulane University, and the Chimentos have mutual friends in Lousiana.
Cash donations collected will go toward Drew's medical expenses with 100 percent of the money raised going to the Chimento family. Gift cards for Wall-Mart, Old Navy and Target can also be donated.
Donations can be made at Dissmores or by contacting the WSU Men's Basketball Office at 509-335-0240.