Hiram College

As the women’s basketball team begins its 2011-2012 season, Emily Smerchansky ’13 will be playing to both help the Terriers to a winning season and to raise money and food donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Youngstown.

A native of the Youngstown area, Smerchansky first got involved with the food bank during her senior year at Girard High School, after taking a tour and realizing the immediate need close to home.

“It really hit home,” she said. “It was like, ‘Wow, this is in our area.’ I tried to just help in any way that I could.”

Thus, she and her father created the website Baskets for Food, where people could pledge a donation based off how many points Smerchansky scored in a basketball game. For every point she scored, fans could donate a dollar or a can of food.

With two seasons of collegiate competition under her belt, she’s decided to reinstate the charity this season as she plays shooting guard for the Terriers. Fans can pledge by choosing the “Goal” option on her website and printing the form. They may choose to pledge a canned good or dollar for every point Smerchansky scores, every Hiram win or every Hiram home game.

Smerchansky raised $450 in 2008-2009 when she first began Baskets for Food. For every dollar she raised, the Second Harvest Food Bank was able to provide $15 worth of food, making a total of $6,750 raised through her efforts. This year, she hopes to raise as much as she can to continue to support the food bank.

“It is very exciting to look forward to (this season),” Smerchansky said. “We have a great veteran team of returning players … This is the year to ‘leave no doubt’ in anyone’s minds about Hiram College women’s basketball.”