RC Alumni from the past 33 years raised $150,000 in honor of their retiring teacher Dave Phillips, Jr.
It all began when Mehmet Pekarun RC 87 heard the retirement news about his beloved basketball coach. He contacted the school with the idea to do something for him as a present from his old students. As the ideas came in from the ex-basketball team players, the goal was set to renovate and name the upper field in Mr. Phillips' name. Yonca Ulusoy Zaimoğlu RC 93 and Cüneyt Yavuz RC 86 took the lead for the fundraising efforts along with Mehmet Pekarun and the project "for Dave" was given a start in October 2011. It didn't take long for the alumni to respond, as they wanted to be a part of this project and make "the legend" proud.
The main challenge was to keep this secret from Dave Phillips himself, for his players wanted to surprise him on the RC Olympics day, May 18, the day he calls "the Dave Ball". When it was finally time to announce this present, his old students from various years came running on stage wearing t-shirts specially made for this day, Dave Phillips was utterly surprised, barely finding the words in front of all his past and current students. He was presented with a huge mock-up check for $150,000 for Robert College, and the news that the upper field would be named in his honor. Watch the video of the ceremony here. See pictures below.
The following part of the project was the Farewell Party for Dave, held on Saturday, June 16th. This time all of his friends from faculty, staff, old students and close friends came together to celebrate and have fun. The surprise of this evening was a fun video, where a group of his ex team players all thanking him, and reminiscing about the old times through photos. Everybody, especially Dave Phillips himself had a blast through the night. Some highlights of the night were when the letters from Dave's family were read aloud and when the RC graduates who made this project a success got a medal each. Dave was presented with a special basketball jersey that has all the names of the contributors to the project on it. And a big cup that reads: "The most valuable coach Dave Phillips".
The other "Project for Dave" team members are: Kaan Kural RC 92, Ebru Nuhoğlu RC 92, Nevra Eker RC 94, Moris Abravaya RC 94, Ersan Öztürk RC 94, Pınar Arı RC 96, Mehveş Dramur RC 96, Nilhan Ulusoy RC 96, and Zeynep Özoğul RC 2000.