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Greens Farms Packs The House for Charity

The nearly 500 fans that attended Greens Farms Academy's Pack The House night for Saturday's game against Brunswick also stuffed the cash box. The fans raised more than $1,600 for Partners In Health, a Boston-based organization that delivers high-quality medical care in 12 countries. And even more contributions will be collected from donor pledges based on the number of people who attended the basketball game.

"We're so grateful for the turnout,'' said Westport senior Alexandra Damianos, president of the school's Community Service Board. "We didn't know what to expect, and it was fantastic."

First-year basketball coach Doug Scott approached the board about holding the Pack The House event before the season began. The group made its choice after hearing a speech from Ophelia Dahl, executive director and a founder of Partners In Health.

Partners In Health started offering medical services 25 years ago in Haiti and has since expanded to Peru, Siberia, Russia, Rwanda and the United States, among others.

The Greens Farms' Community Service Board will also host a concert in February as another fundraiser. That has been the primary source of funding for its charitable donations, but the success of Pack The House exceeded expectations. The crowd was the largest for a regular-season contest at GFA, according to athletic director Tauni Butterfield.

Service Board Vice President Stephanie Garofoli, a senior from Darien, and Damianos addressed the crowd before the game to thank them for their support. The school's band also played, and Scott credited the support for helping the Dragons hold on for a narrow 36-33 victory. "That crowd kept us going,'' Scott said.

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