Shoot For the Stars Unites Community


Shoot For the Stars will be held on April 7, 2018 at Argyle High School in Argyle, TX. (Gigi Robertson/The Talon News)

Ashlynn Roberts, Reporter

To celebrate the memory of Alex Betzhold, raise awareness about common heart conditions and bring the community together, the Shoot For the Stars event will be held this Saturday for its sixth consecutive year. While there are many activities scheduled, the most important part of the Shoot for the Stars event are the 54 free heart screenings available for all students.

“We are thrilled at the chance of someone else finding out about a heart condition that could affect them and save their lives,” Alex’s mom Mary Betzhold said. “They say that in about 10% of the youth who gets screened, something is detected and they refer them to cardiologists.”

Jennifer Harris, a registered nurse in the area, has been volunteering at Shoot For the Stars the past two years and said heart screenings really are life-saving for some people.

“These screenings are very important because they can help detect treatable conditions in youth and help save lives,” Harris said. “In general, they can detect congenital defects, which are those that children are born with that can lead to sudden cardiac death.”

Aside from the heart screenings, the Shoot For the Stars event was also created to celebrate the memory of Alex Betzhold, a former student at Argyle High School. Since the passing of Alex, the Betzhold family has been continually blessed with the help and support of the Argyle community.

“It’s really just been an ongoing way that we have felt God’s presence,” Betzhold said. “I firmly believe that God first sends people when tragedy strikes, and the community of Argyle has supported us over and over. We have really seen God’s presence through them.”

The name Shoot for the Stars may sound like a basketball theme, but it has a much deeper meaning. Shortly after Alex passed, a candlelight vigil was held on the tennis courts after a home basketball game. Hundreds of people, including friends, family and coaches gathered to remember Alex Betzhold. It was a very sad and emotional hour for everyone there. Right before Mr. Betzhold started to speak to the crowd, an amazing shooting star flew by that reminded everyone in attendance that Alex was watching from above.

“When we lost him, I kept thinking of the things he would never accomplish, and when I saw that shooting star, I was overwhelmed with peace,” Betzhold said. “Right then I knew that God had greater plans for Alex than I could even imagine aside from earthly aspirations. I knew God was going to use his passing for His will.”

Shoot for the Stars will start at 9 a.m. at the Argyle High School gymnasium. The basketball tournament will last from 9-3 p.m, with a motivational speaker at 11 a.m, and the Dove Release at 11:15. From 10 a.m to 4 p.m, over 35 vendors will also be at the high school. Heart screenings will be available throughout the day by appointment and walk-ups. At 6:30 p.m, the event will be continued over at Bumbershoots, where there will be a silent auction and live music showcasing Argyle’s local talent.

“The joy that we see the community having that day, whether it’s in fellowship or fun on the basketball court, or fun in the music event, honors Alex because he so loved to laugh and have fun,” Betzhold said. “Of course heart screenings are also important for our family.”

The 54 heart screenings throughout the day offer a chance for students with undetected heart conditions to stay a part of the Argyle community living happy, healthy lives.

“I think it is important for students to know about these screenings because some students might have reservations about getting a heart test,” Harris said. “One important thing that students should know is that these tests are non-invasive, they’re painless, and they’re a quick and easy way to detect any problems that might cause an illness in the future.”