'Trick-Hoops and Alley-Oops'


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It's not your average fundraiser. In fact, it's been five years in the making.

For Old Forge Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) President Sherri Wagner, Sunday's big event, a basketball game featuring the Harlem Wizards against educators in the Triboro-area, was a no-brainer.

"The kids are really excited about this," she said. "We've done other kinds of fundraisers and thought that this would be something that kids would be interested in that would be profitable at the same time."

Wagner explained that the PTA raises funds to provide class trips for elementary students in the district annually.

She said response to this new fundraising venture, slated for Sunday, has been positive.

"We have a 800-person capacity and right now are at about 500 with advance sales," Wagner said.

The game is two hours long, with tipoff at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, in the Old Forge High School gym.

"This is going to be a fun event that all the kids in the Triboro area should see," she said.

The Harlem Wizards were founded in 1962 by New York Sports promoter Howie Davis. Now in its 50th year, the organization continues to put a different spin the game of basketball, conducting fundraiser events for schools and non-profits in 315 communities and cities across America.

According to the team, more than $1 million will be raised this season alone, while smiles and enthusiasm for the Wizards match up against teachers, coaches and community leaders will entertain crowds of all ages.

"They are going to be playing teachers from Old Forge and Riverside elementaries," Wagner said. "Kids are used to seeing the teachers in a classroom setting and not on a basketball court."

Momentum for the game has been building as area students were treated to a meet-and-great with members of the team last week during visits to Triboro-area elementary schools.

Wagner explained that the team will also stay after the game and do autographs and pictures until everyone is satisfied.

"They really do want to make sure everyone who comes to the game has fun and enjoys the experience.

Advance tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults and are available by contacting Old Forge Elementary School at 457-6721, or Riverside Elementary School at 562-2121 by Friday, Feb. 15.

If tickets are remaining, they will be $10 for students and $12 for adults at the door, with doors opening at 5 p.m.

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