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The Gresham-Barlow game on Friday night will be about more than just basketball.

GRESHAM OUTLOOK: MATT RAWLINGS - Barlow's Evan Inglesby shoots a free throw in a game against Centennial back on January 12.

When the Gresham and Barlow boys and girls basketball teams meet up for the second time this season on Friday night, both squads will be providing more than just high-quality high school hoops.

The two schools will be giving back to the community in form of a sock drive on behalf of SnowCap Community Charities. Fans are encouraged to bring a new pair of socks to the game, which will then be donated to SnowCap — a nonprofit organization that works with low-income families in East County.

"Socks are obviously a great need around this time of year so we are happy to help in any way that we can," Barlow boys basketball coach Tom Johnson said.

The idea for a fundraiser was brought to fruition by the leadership classes at both schools.

"We think it's a great project to include the two schools. We are thrilled to be a part of such a positive event," Gresham boys basketball coach Erik Lyslo said. "Once we heard the impact we could make with the event by using the rivalry to help with the project, we were all for it."

Other than food, new socks are among one of Snow Cap's greatest needs as an organization.

"Every pair of socks is a bundle of hope and kindness," Snow Cap executive director Kirsten Wageman said. "Last winter after one of the snowstorms, a man arrived wearing plastic bags stuffed with paper on his feet. His shoes and socks had become so soaked with icy water he had to remove them. He was given warm socks and burst into tears with gratitude and relief. While gently used clothing is frequently donated, folks tend to wear out socks and so we don't often have them. Socks are greatly needed all the year around."

Donations will be accepted by the Gresham fire department before the start of the of both varsity games. The girls game will tip at 6 p.m. and the boys game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

If everyone in attendance was able to bring just one pair of socks to the game, the impact on the community would be tremendous.

"Anytime our kids can make a positive impact in the community, whether it's through our youth program or something very important like this, they feel the impact and significance and are proud to be a part of it," Lyslo said.

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