This week, Swish House, a basketball fitness community with roots in Chicago, is hosting a 3-point contest open to the public to benefit the children at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. The contest is part of Mercy Home’s Heroes Challenge, a new event created by the charity following the cancellation of the Chicago Marathon.
For $25, anyone can sign up to participate at Swish House’s new location at 2343 S. Throop St. in Pilsen. The contest mirrors the NBA’s version: five shots from 5 different locations along the 3-point line. Each participant gets two attempts at the contest, and their best score is posted to the leaderboard. Participants can sign up for the contest on Swish House’s website at www.swishhouse.com.
Time slots are open during afternoons and evenings until October 10, and the top 10 scorers will be invited to participate in the championship round on Sunday, October 11. The top three finishers in the championship round will be awarded trophies. Leaderboards will be updated throughout the week on Swish House’s social media channels @swishhousefit, and all proceeds will be donated to Mercy Home, a therapeutic home for kids in crisis.
“Our whole mission is to give back and build awareness for Mercy Home this week.” said Swish House founder and CEO Jonathon Dues. “This has been a rough stretch for the Home because of the pandemic. We want to do whatever we can for them in their time of need because they were so wonderful to us in our time of need when we started this company.”
This has been a rough stretch for the Home because of the pandemic. We want to do whatever we can for them in their time of need because they were so wonderful to us in our time of need when we started this company.
Swish House offers basketball fitness classes for anyone who loves the game – all skill and fitness levels are welcome. In 2009, Dues and his wife moved to the West Loop and first connected with Mercy Home through volunteering and fundraising. When the idea for Swish House was hatched in 2018 and needed a facility partner in the West Loop, Mercy Home became their primary location.
“We built the company predicated on the idea that there’s a lot of hidden gem indoor basketball courts in great neighborhoods, like Mercy Home, that sit empty for portions of the day when people want to work out. Our business model is to activate those courts, create a mutually beneficial partnership and ultimately an affordable fitness solution for basketball community.” Dues said.
“Ideally we want to partner with entities that cater to kids, because though we’re a for-profit, our mission is to make the world a healthier, happier place by unifying and strengthening communities through basketball. The Hoops 2 Homework program we operate with the Chicago Bulls and Transunion at Mercy Home is the shining example of what we can do with other like-minded people!”
Like other businesses across the country, Swish House has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With new safety precautions and social distancing measures in place, securing gym time became an obstacle. That is why Dues and his team decided to renovate a multi-purpose room ino their own home court within ChiTown Futbol, an indoor sports and social facility in Pilsen.
With basketball rims removed from many parks across the city and recommendations to avoid contact sports, Swish House may be just what the doctor ordered for basketball fans.
“Swish House is really the next best thing right now beyond playing basketball,” Dues said. “We have built our fitness classes to be completely COVID-safe. You don’t touch anything except your own basketball and your own resistance band, and everybody wears masks.”
We have built our fitness classes to be completely COVID-safe. You don’t touch anything except your own basketball and your own resistance band, and everybody wears masks.
The idea for this week’s 3-point contest was created by Mercy Home Associate Board member Nicole Tolentino. While she has hosted fundraisers for Mercy Home in the past, this was the first time she has taken her efforts to the larger community and beyond her own personal network.
“I’m grateful to Swish House for joining me in this fundraiser and graciously donating their gym and their time,” Tolentino said. “Any way that I can promote giving back to the community, I’m happy to do so because that is really important to me.”
If you are unable to sign up for the 3-point contest but would like to make a donation, you can do so at https://marathon.mercyhome.org/heroes-challenge/nicole-tolentino-and-swish-house.
For more information about Mercy Home’s Heroes Challenge event, please visit https://marathon.mercyhome.org/heroes-challenge/.