Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

HPS foundation plans hoop tourney


Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson, file photo

Former Havre High School graduate Kelsey Evans, from left, watches as fellow former Blue Ponies Stephanie Stremcha and Erin (Patera) Bolken wrestle for a rebound during the December 2009 HHS girls alumni basketball game at the Havre Middle School. The event, a fundraiser for the Havre Public Schools Education Foundation, is scheduled for Dec. 26 this year.

The Havre Public Schools Education Foundation is in the midst of preparing its annual addition of some school spirit to the holiday season, and is looking for people interested in a little basketball.

Kev Campbell, the foundation's executive director, said the annual Holiday Hoops Havre High School alumni basketball game, in its seventh year, is set to run the day after Christmas.

"It gives something for families to do. It's after Christmas, it's inexpensive, and it's good clean fun, " Campbell said.

People don't have to be former Blue Pony basketball players to play in the games, she added.

"You just have to be a Havre High alumni to play, " she said, adding that cheerleaders were featured during last year's games.

She said more information is available about the Holiday Hoops and other foundation activities on its web pages, on the Havre Public Schools website at http://www.Havre.k12.mt.edu and on the foundation Facebook page.

The games are set to start at 6 p. m. Dec. 26 at Havre Middle School's gymnasium. Entry costs $5, which buys a Blue Pony commemorative ceramic mug filled with chili.

Campbell said foundation officials hope to announce a new name for another tradition the fundraising organization is taking over, the annual Fossil Festival.

Campbell said foundation representatives are looking for a new name for the event, which will be tweaked to become more of an all-school reunion than focusing on people who graduated 30 years ago or more. Hopefully, she said, a new name will be selected and announced during the alumni games.

As for the alumni games themselves, she said, the foundation is looking for people who would like to play, coach, and referee and sponsor players.

In the past, she said, the players paid their own fee to play, $25 this year. Last year, her first year as executive director for the foundation, she found three businesses to pay the fee and sponsor teams.

This year, Campbell said, the foundation wants people to sign up and any people, organizations or businesses interested in sponsoring players to sign up as well. The sponsors can specify who they are sponsoring, or leave it open and the foundation will match players and sponsors before the uniforms are prepared.

If people want to pay the fee and sponsor themselves, that also is fine, she added.

Last year, the people who played were fairly evenly split between two sets of graduates, and the players were divided into two co-ed teams of people who graduated between 2002-06, and two co-ed teams of people who graduated between 2007-10.

The groups played against their own-era opponents, then the winner of the 2002-06 game played the winner of the 2007-10 game.

Campbell said the funds raised by the alumni games goes into a general-purpose pool, often used to fund mini-grants for activities like helping pay for student trips to the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership seminars or to pay for other trips or activities.

Much of the funding for the foundation goes to specific activities or scholarships. Campbell said, for example, that many of the scholarships that go through the foundation are set by the donors.

"Although we do the administrative stuff, as in we cut the checks and … deal with the applications, and all that stuff, the decisions, the judging, the guidelines, the criteria, are all set by the donors, " she said.

The alumni basketball fundraiser and some other fundraisers and donations are for general use.


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