the school on the last day of the three-day “Seven
Corners Sunoco Tip-off Tournament.”
The Stuart Raiders beat cross-county rival the
Lee High School Lancers in a blowout. The streak
was over and the community was buzzing! Of
course local media wrote about the game, but so
noteworthy was the win, even The Washington
Post wrote about the dramatic “victory at the Sev-
en Corners Sunoco Tip-off Tournament.”
“I couldn’t have bought that kind of publicity,”
Garrett said. Of course he could have, but it would
have cost a lot more than $1,000. And it wouldn’t
have brought about the ensuing good will and
cementing of the relationship.
“The school sent us a letter and plaque thank-
ing us, which is very nice, but we did it because
it’s the right thing to do,” Garrett said. “I grew up
in this community and I think it’s important to
give something back when you can.”
“We are very grateful for the support they gave
us — the Seven Corners Sunoco Tip-off Tour-
nament was a great success,” said Girls’ Varsity
Head Coach Brandon Sutphin.
He’s not just talking about his team’s first win
in years. School budgets are stretched thin and
whenever a local business steps up to help fund
a program everybody wins. Sutphin says the
2013 tournament was the largest to date, they
made money that goes back into the basketball
program, and they have Seven Corners Sunoco to
thank in part.
The Start of a Beautiful Relationship
Garrett says the 2013 tournament was just the
beginning. He wants to sponsor the event again
next year and further leverage his participation in
the event. He’s also developing customer appreciation events around his car wash or service in the
bays that will benefit the school directly.
Garrett admits that he, like Cantwell, attended
Stuart’s bitter rival high school across town. “But
that was a long time ago and all that is well behind
us,” he said with a smile. “We’ll stay involved to
support the kids.”
Michael Klein is a freelance writer in Northern Vir-
ginia and he roots for the Stuart Raiders year round.
“I couldn’t have bought that
kind of publicity,” Garrett
said. Of course he could
have, but it would have cost
a lot more than $1,000.