When Lou Levine referees a basketball game, his check goes straight to fighting cancer.
In the course of seven years, the youth basketball referee and Acton resident has raised approximately $600,000 for the American Cancer Society. He’s donated 100 percent of his game fees for more than 1,600 basketball games — worth more than $100,000 — and, in 2018 alone, he raised $137,000.
Earlier this month, Levine became the first official to be honored by the American Cancer Society with the Champion Award, a prestigious national honor from the Coaches vs. Cancer program.
Previously, Levine received the Sandra C. Labaree New England Volunteer Values Award from the American Cancer Society, and was given the Great Call Award by the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) in San Antonio in 2016.
“It’s the power of one,” Levine said. “Everybody can do something. I began doing this and it just kept building and building . . . I really believe referees are supposed to be role models and educators.”
“And I appreciate the award, but I’m not doing this for awards. That’s not what this is all about.”
For every game he officiates, Levine has a network of sponsors who donate, which he says averages around $500 total. Some fans also donate, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.
Additionally, Levine has sold thousands of pink whistles to officials of all sports, from northeast New Jersey to Vermont, for them to wear and join the fight.
“If you show that you’re using the pink whistle, it’s not the be-all-end-all, but people see and understand that you’re trying to represent something — put something forward.”
To learn more information or make a donation, visit louvscancer.com.
Latest Cambridge Hall class announced
The Cambridge Athletic Hall of Fame will honor 12 stellar student-athletes, four championship teams, three distinguished coaches, and two outstanding contributors at its 2019 induction ceremony on May 18 at American Legion Post 440, 295 California St. in Newton. A reception at 6 will be followed by dinner and the program at 7.
■ Athletes — David Nadeau (‘57, football captain; state track champion in the 220); John Purcell (‘62, baseball, hockey, and football stalwart still owns school-record 108-yard punt return); Benjamin Brathwaite (‘64; undisputed leader of championship football and basketball teams); Lloyd Merriman (‘69; three-year basketball starter on Tech Tourney teams; Suburban MVP as a senior); Keith Barnette (‘71; three-sport stalwart went on to lead the nation in scoring as a senior at Boston College with 22 TDs); Phil Hamilton (‘75; football captain, Agganis All-Star; three-year starting tackle at New Hampshire); Edward J. Sullivan (‘81; football, basketball star considered one of most versatile athletes in school history); Richard E. Kelley (‘84; Globe’s outdoor track athlete of the anchored the 4x800 team to a New England record that stood for 32 years); Teri Wright (‘92; league, state, and all-state champion hurdler); Jeremy Collins (‘96; basketball and track standout who won 17 titles in sprints, jumps, and relays); Stephanie Darden (‘04; Three-time team MVP netted a school-record 1,356 points on the court); and Skyy Anderson (‘08, All-American soccer player finished with 70 goals, 32 assists, played at D1 Maryland).
■ Coaches — Linda Town (Mass. Girls’ Volleyball Hall of Famer; started boys’ and unified programs); Paul Sullivan (1961 grad/three-sport athlete coached baseball and football for 30-plus years); and Bob Maguire (His cross-country/track programs won 30-plus league, class and all-state titles).
■ Contributors — Richard Rossi (‘64 grad, city manager) and Paul Ryder (director of recreation, 1982-2016).
■ Teams — 1963 Rindge Tech boys’ basketball (19-1 record, Tech Tourney champs); 1976 Cambridge High and Latin girls’ volleyball (won the inaugural girls’ state title, beating Boston Latin); 1979 Rindge & Latin boys’ basketball (Patrick Ewing/Mike Jarvis-led D1 champions finished 27-0); and 1996 R&L boys’ volleyball (21-1 squad, halted New Bedford’s 72-game winning streak in state final).
On the move
Whitman-Hanson named 2013 grad Samantha Richner varsity girls’ volleyball coach. A three-season coach (cross-country, indoor and outdoor track), Richner excelled on the volleyball court and in track for the Panthers. “She is a great role model for our girls and I am confident they will enjoy playing for her,” Whitman-Hanson athletic director Bob Rodgers said. “When I first heard several years ago Sam was pursuing a career in education, my first thought was I hope someday we can get her to coach with us.” At Bridgewater State, Richner was a track captain and All-American . . . Joe Lowe is the new varsity girls’ basketball coach at Winthrop. The Saugus grad was an assistant coach with the boys’ basketball program at his alma mater the past two seasons. Winthrop finished 8-12 last season for interim coach Rick Pulsipher. Lowe teached in the Winthrop school system . . . Applications for the Boston Globe Foundation / Richard J. Phelps Scholar-Athlete scholarships are due by Wed., May 1. Mail to The Boston Globe Foundation, ATTN: Scholar-Athlete scholarship program, 1 Exchange Place, Suite 201, Boston, MA, 02109.
Craig Larson of the Globe staff also contributed.