Join the March Madness at Starfire Council's 18th annual Final Four FlyAway

For both diehard and casual college basketball fans, ’tis the season, as March Madness is almost upon us. 

Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, “a visionary organization working to build better lives for people with disabilities,” is gathering people together March 19 to engage in the fun of bracket challenges, local eats and drinks and live action on multiple televisions during its 18th annual Final Four FlyAway

The event is aimed at young professionals and basketball enthusiasts alike and takes place during the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament as teams work their way to the Sweet 16. 

Throughout the evening, amidst the festivities Starfire will also share stories of those within its community that showcase the organization and what fellowship with others can do for one’s sense of self. 

Take Josh, for example, who began volunteering at Xavier University Cintas Center’s concession stands about three years ago to help raise money for a local girls’ basketball team. Everyone now knows him by name, and he’s embraced the chance to surround himself with likeminded individuals who are passionate about the same thing he is: sports.

“The data is clear: People with developmental disabilities grow increasingly lonely as they age,” says Mariah Gilkeson, marketing and special events coordinator. “Starfire works to decreases people’s experience of social isolation by forming relationships to people and places in the community based on strengths and shared interests.”

Individuals like Josh and his family will attend FlyAway (Josh’s favorite Starfire event that he looks forward to each year), which presents another opportunity to mingle with those who have similar hobbies. 

“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers of the year,” Gilkeson says. 

Tickets are $65 in advance or $80 at the door and include a chance to win 2017 Final Four tickets.

Do Good: 

• Plan to attend Final Four FlyAway at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine at 7 p.m. March 19.

• Try your luck at predicting the Big Dance and purchase up to 10 brackets at $10 a piece for a Split-the-Pot opportunity with Starfire.

Contact Mariah Gilkeson if you’re able to donate baskets to Starfire, which is need of extras for raffle preparation. 

Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a freelance writer, adjunct English composition instructor and server at Orchids at Palm Court. She loves travel and photography. Keep up with Brittany on Instagram @brittbrittbrittbrittany.
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