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Donkey Hoops in Townsend helps students fundraise for an upcoming trip

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Posted at 12:11 PM, May 09, 2023

TOWNSEND — While the high school basketball season may have wrapped up, Friday saw the Broadwater High School gymnasium come alive for Donkey Basketball.

The event is a fundraiser for Broadwater High School’s “Bulldogs Beyond,” a new program for students to get the opportunity to travel the world and experience new places such as Italy and Greece, just to name a few.

Yes, there are rules in Donkey Basketball. The first rule of this unique sport is that you must be between the ages of 18-50 to ride the athletic animals. The second rule: You must always stay connected to your Donkey.

Havyn Vandenacre, Broadwater High Junior, is part of Bulldogs Beyond, and will be traveling with her classmates next year.

“I’m so excited to go there and see the world because you know, you don’t get many chances like that,” she told MTN.

It appeared as though the majority of Townsend came out Friday evening to show their support as the gym was packed to the brim.

Jill Flynn is the program’s liaison, she is also the English teacher for the high school and spoke about what this means for the kids living in or around the Townsend area.

“To get a feel for other cultures and an excitement for travel and to educate them along the way, so we're happy to provide this opportunity,” said Flynn.

The club was started in 2019 but due to the Covid pandemic, the students didn’t have the opportunity to travel until last year. Their first trip sent seniors to London & Paris in 2022 with the second trip planned for the 2024 seniors, including Vandenacre.

She emphasized a few of the reasons why they decided to do a fundraiser such as this, which includes the game, of course, but it also included a Taco Bar, a silent auction, as well as fun games for the families of the students.

“Have a nice little family dinner as well, it’s not just a game, it’s also about the families, for sure,” said Vandenacre.

The 2023 Townsend Donkey Basketball Championships consisted of four teams in a single elimination bracket. There were two five-minute halves played with a two-minute halftime break (for the donkeys) with a brief 15-minute break between games.

The first game ended on an Erica Mannix buzzer-beater for the local business owners and their team, “The Good, The Bad, and The Donkeys,” who outlasted the Broadwater County Law enforcement team aka. “The Outlaw Donkeys.”

The teachers of Broadwater schools aka “How to train your Donkey,” would then take on the BHS senior class, the “Donkey Desperados,” in the second game with a consolidation game played for third place, followed by a fourth – Championship game – between the winners of game 1 and 2. It was quite the event, a fun-filled evening with multiple awards handed out post-game for MVP; Bronco Buster; Fearless Leader; Most Enthusiastic; and Best Floor Sweeper aka. (Pooper scoopers).

The donkeys did not seem as excited but, they're donkeys so perhaps they were just being stubborn.