Basketball wizardry is coming to Canal Winchester

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By Linda Dillman

Staff Writer

A local team, mainly comprised of teachers and administrators from the school district, will face off against the Harlem Wizards in a game that blends athleticism with comedy, coupled with an interactive halftime show and post-show activities. The event is April 10 at 7 p.m. at Canal Winchester High School.. Proceeds benefit the Canal Winchester Rotary Club.

According to the team’s website, “…fans see amazing basketball talent combined with hilarious comedy. The athleticism, tricks, fancy teamwork and ball-handling wizardry, plus wild dunks not even seen in NBA games, engages and wows the most avid hoops fans.”

Rotary representative Brad Tharp said the club chose the Wizards as a fundraiser following similar successful events in Pickerington and Reynoldsburg during the past several years.

“Canal Winchester Superintendent Jim Sotlar played on the Pickerington team when he was a principal in that school district and he thought the event brought excitement to the district while raising funds for worthy causes,” said Tharp. “People come to enjoy tricks, hoops and alley-oops and to have fun at school! Students love to hang out with friends, laugh at their teachers and mingle with the amazing Wizards players. Parents and grandparents, and kids of all ages, love the Wizards – elementary and middle school students really like the involvement at halftime with the Wizards players.”

Tharp said the club supports the school system through meal programs, tutoring, inbound and outbound foreign exchanges for the academic year or summer, the Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and the Dictionary Project, which provides a personal dictionary/reference book to all third graders.

The Rotary has three ongoing fundraisers—selling wreaths during the Christmas season, sponsoring card-playing charity events, and providing assistance during the annual Ribs and Blues Fest. Tharp said the club expects the Wizards event to bring in three to five times as much as the club previously raised by any other single event.

“Our Canal Winchester club has been active in fundraising and community service, but on a small scale,” said Tharp. “Our club’s new fundraising chair and president-elect, John Kershner, along with current president Catherine Roebuck, wanted to concentrate on fewer fundraisers with a larger impact.”

Tharp said the fundraisers tie-in with the club’s focus of providing local food and hunger services, supporting students, and helping support and maintain local parks, like the Lockville Park cleanup and tire removal from Walnut Creek.

“We are looking to expand international service—we have helped with a book project called Libraries for Liberia–and hope to add a clean-water project, perhaps in Central America,” said Tharp.

Presale tickets are available through April 9 and are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets are also available at the door and cost $12 for adults and $10 for students.

For information, visit www.rotarycanalwinchester.org or contact Theresa Reade at 837-5558 or Amy York at 312-5860.

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