Having a ball!

Stephanie Vandergriff, an eighth-grade science teacher at London Middle School, leads her donkey onto the court in front of a full house at London High School.

(Posted March 2, 2022)

By Pat Donahue, staff photographer

On March 1, the London High School FFA chapter hosted a staff-vs.-students donkey basketball game to raise funds to help London student Sean Sabulsky in his battle with cancer.

Players were allowed to walk, ride, push, pull or beg their donkeys up court. All shooting and passing had to be done from atop their rides.

The competition got more competitive as the riders became more acquainted with their rides. The game ended in a tie that had to be settled at the foul line to claim a victory for the teachers.

Flanked by seniors Jonathon Schooley (left) and Jake Hogan (right), fifth-grade teacher Chad Reeser prepares to pass the ball.
Freshman Bradley Murray (right) defends against high school intervention specialist Amanda White.
Senior Sara Oney eyes the basket.
Logan Golde, 5, of Galloway enjoys a ride during intermission with the help of his mom, London High School science teacher Heather Golde, and London sophomore Alex Homan.
During intermission, children 12 and younger lined up around the gym for rides on the donkeys. Visitors from Bluebird Retirement Community got in on the fun, too. Gayla Heckel was thrilled to climb aboard “Surprise’ with the help from Donkey Ball Entertainment owner Samantha Hughes, London sophomore, Abigail Lemons and London Elementary reading specialist Stacey Alderman. Hughes started Donkey Ball Entertainment a year ago after taking over a business that originated in the 1930s. She operates out of her Family Tradition Farms in Tipp City, Ohio, and serves two dozen states.


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