A new spin on fundraising

lam dunks, snazzy passes and ball spins could help fund scholarships for seniors at Whiteland Community High School.

The Harlem Wizards are coming to the school Jan. 8.

The Harlem Wizards travel the nation, showing off feats with a basketball and playing a game against educators in the community.

The events raise funds for PTOs, education foundations and other school groups across the country. Indian Creek High School hosted two games over a few years to raise money for the band.

Money raised from the Harlem Wizards appearance at Whiteland is a fundraiser for the Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation. Funds raised will go to scholarships and grants that are given to Clark-Pleasant schools, said Dan Callon, president of the education foundation.

The education foundation is fairly new, beginning in 2012 with the goal to raise money for teachers and students.

Booking the team was the perfect way to raise a few bucks and offer a wholesome community activity, Callon said.

“The No. 1 goal is to raise awareness for the education foundation and, of course, to raise funds, “ he said.

People who attend will be treated to a show full of tricks and entertainment, said Ken Sears, athletic director at Whiteland Community High School.

Harlem Wizard players are similar to the iconic Harlem Globetrotters who use a basketball as their art, Callon said.

YouTube videos of the basketball squad performing across the nation depict impressive feats of athleticism: players making high dunks and basketballs spinning hundreds of rotations on players’ fingers and between their legs.

Three quarters of a four-quarter game will feature the basketball troupe’s antics. The last quarter of the game will be a competitive game against faculty and staff from Whiteland schools, Sears said.

“It will be three periods where we are just on the court, and they will be putting on their show,” he said.

Part of the fun and the draw to the event is the fact that it will be open to everyone in the community, Callon said.

Other fundraisers, such as a wine tasting and dinner at Mallow Run Winery, have brought in money for the foundation.

But the entire family can come to a Harlem Wizards game, Callon said.

“(We) can create a family event you can enjoy together,” he said. “It just fits.”

Planning a basketball game is a more unique way to get the funds that the foundation needs, Sears said.

“You aren’t just selling cookies or having a bake sale,” he said. “We are always having a fundraiser for this or a fundraiser for that, this is another way.”

The Harlem Wizards bringing their skills to Johnson County is not new.

Indian Creek has hosted the team twice, both as fundraiser’s for the band department.

About $4,000 was raised at those events. But, the community got something more than money, said Amy Heavilin, band director.

“It really brought the community together and provided a great evening of entertainment. Everyone leaves after having a great time, and it’s not your typical candy or cheesecake sales,” she said.

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What: Harlem Wizards basketball game

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 8

Where: Whiteland Community High School, 300 S. Main St.

Cost: Tickets purchased before the event are $10 for adults $8 for children.