Alumni basketball game, silent auction raises money for Project Grad

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Warsaw alum Corey Stackhouse goes in for a layup during the fourth quarter of the boys’ alumni basketball game.

The events of last year were far from normal when it came to sports events and celebrations. This year’s alumni game gave a lot of hope to people and a chance to compete with players they hadn’t played with/seen in a long time. Many events over the past year were cancelled but this year Project Graduation Committee worked hard to make sure the alumni game happened.
“It was really good to see everyone back in Warsaw for the alumni games. Five to six of us played together in high school and the rest of the team were either older or younger. It was fun to play with the guys that I didn’t play with in high school,” 2007 grad Dennis Larson said.
The alumni game is an annual tradition hosted by the Project Graduation Committee and is put on every year (besides last year). The event started off with a dinner and a silent auction, shirts were provided for each player and there were many other things for sale throughout the night. The games started with the girls’ game and a “shootout” during half time. During the game and at the entrance tickets were sold for both the half-time “shootout” and a 50/50 raffle.
Megan Cunningham and Tracey Spry worked very hard to organize the alumni game.
“The alumni games take a lot of planning and preparation. We divided into various committees to conquer all of the tasks,” they said.
After the first game, the boys’ game started and another “shootout” happened during half-time and the 50/50 raffle winner was announced in between third and fourth quarter.
Both the “shootout” winners and 50/50 raffle winner donated the money back to Project Graduation after winning. According to Brenda Kreisel, treasurer, the silent auction raised $6,000 and the alumni game raised $2,000.
A large contribution that helped was the silent auction organized by Cunningham. Spry was the chairman and took care of team sign ups and the actual game. Kelly Wenberg took care of games and Tonia Johnson was in charge of the food.
In between the two games, the Project Graduation organizers invited Coach Loren Burke to be recognized for his impact on Warsaw sports and coaching over the years.
They announced some of his accomplishments, such as coaching the boys’ basketball team to the district championship in 1989. He was a dedicated coach, teacher, athletic director and bus driver.
“Each year we choose a coach to recognize for their dedication to our sports program. Coach Burke coached basketball for many years with many successful seasons,” Spry said.
Cunningham and Spry organized Burke’s appearance, they thought it was “nice to bring back some past coaches to see the players again” during the alumni games.
The Project Graduation Committee worked hard to plan the alumni game in order to raise money for the senior class.
Project Graduation is also planning a co-ed softball game for the spring which will help raise more money and allow people to have some fun.