Anyone who has spent any time at all around a donkey knows that they aren’t the most cooperative animals on the planet.
So why not climb on them and play basketball?
Or try to climb on them and try to play basketball is perhaps more accurate.
For the fifth year, officials at Mount Airy Middle School are hosting a Donkey Basketball Tournament to help provide scholarships that will allow some of the school’s eighth-graders to attend an April trip to Washington, D.C.
The event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m., in the school’s gymnasium.
Organizer Catherine Quigley-Hiatt said that since its inception, the fun-filled event has been a crowd-pleaser.
“It’s been great,” she gushed. “Since the first time we’ve done it it’s been successful each year.”
Much of that success can be directly attributed to the stubbornness of the animals themselves.
“It’s hilarious,” she said. “The donkeys are so unpredictable. We packed the house that first year. It’s amazing how many people want to come out to watch.”
This year, riders will include teachers, coaches from the different schools in the community and many, many more.
“We have youth ministers and school administrators who will be riding,” Hiatt said. “I haven’t heard back from the local firefighters and police officers yet, but hopefully they will be riding as well.”
Hiatt, who teaches language arts at the middle school, said the impetus for the annual fund raiser began innocently enough.
“A few years back, one of the staff here showed me a video of it on Youtube and suggested we do it,” she said. “I thought it would be both fun and funny, so I got it approved by the school board.”
Hiatt said the event is the major fund raiser for the annual trip.
“We want to generate around $1,500, and that will help us give out 20 to 30 scholarships that will allow children to go on the trip,” she said. “We need everyone in the community to come out and support it.”
She became quiet.
“There are a lot of needy students in our community,” she said. “Times are tough, and this is a way for the school to help them be able to go on the trip. Maybe some of the children can raise some of the money, but can’t quite get it all. We want as many of them as possible to be able to go.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.