A donkey basketball fundraiser at Mountain View High School raised more than $4,000 for Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s annual event raising donations to prevent, research, and fight cancer and help victims get necessary transportation and treatment.
According to Principal Rob Presley, the Student Government Association, which organized the event, chose to go the donkey basketball route because of its potential for spectacular fun, awkward mishaps, and maybe a little danger. Eight donkeys were brought in by Buckeye Donkey Ball, a company which specializes in outfitting groups
for the sport. The donkeys wore special rubber foot covers to protect the gym floor finish.
Donald Kelley was assigned Killer, the fluffiest and friendliest of the donkeys. He said that he was expected to lead the donkey from the trailer and bring it into the gym.
“I got him off the trailer, and he was nice and quiet. He was the fluffiest donkey in there. Someone said his name was ‘Killer,’ and I thought it was a joke. He was very nice until the moment I got on top of him,” Kelley said.
Kelley said it was a good thing that they were required to wear helmets because he was thrown and landed on his head. Also, at one point he was tossed straight up into the air and landed straddling the donkey, which he admitted was quite painful.
The donkeys, while accustomed to being sat upon, still exerted their contrary wills and resisted stubbornly at random moments. They also kicked and in at least one instance, bit.
In order to shoot a basket, the player must be on a donkey, so staying power was an important skill.
Kelley said that he managed to stay on top of Killer even when he took off and ran out of the gym into the school lobby.
He was warned that no one ever stays on that particular steed for more than five seconds, but he thinks he managed to remain astride for 10.
In addition to the more than 500 tickets sold for the event, the students sold concessions and held basket and 50-50 raffles.
All told, the event raised $4,399.24 for the Relay for Life, and a check was presented to Cindy Delaney of the American Cancer Society, on Wednesday, April 12.
The fundraiser was a great shot in the arm in preparation for the school’s main Relay for Life event, which will be held on Friday, May 19 at Mountain View.