Reynoldsburg-Pickerington Rotary Club
Wizards will work fundraising magic
The Harlem Wizards are coming to town for "tricks, hoops and alley oops," courtesy of the Reynoldsburg-Pickerington Rotary Club.
Rotary Club member and Reynoldsburg City Councilman Barth Cotner said the third annual fundraiser consists of two exhibition games -- one at the Reynoldsburg High School Summit Road campus and one at Pickerington High School North.
Proceeds from the games go to student scholarships and local and school programs, along with international charities, such as Polio Plus, which works to eradicate polio worldwide, Cotner said.
He said the games are always a "slam dunk" in the community.
"It's a fun night with a positive message," he said. "The Wizards visit all the schools before the games to talk to the kids in school assemblies. They talk up the game, but they also talk about good choices and are very upbeat and encouraging."
Both games pit the Harlem Wizards against the Community All Stars, a team of school and city staff members, along with some students.
In Reynoldsburg, two of the city staff members on the team are Mayor Brad McCloud and Parks and Recreation Director Joe Brown.
"The school superintendent is usually the coach of the team, but the team is primarily made up of adults, so the kids can come and see their teachers and city dignitaries play basketball against the Wizards," Cotner said.
The first game begins at 7 p.m. April 16 at Pickerington High School North, 7800 Refugee Road, Pickerington.
The second game will start at 7 p.m. April 17 at Reynoldsburg High School Summit Road campus, 8579 Summit Road, Reynoldsburg.
Advance tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission. Tickets may be obtained online at harlemwizards.com, by calling Cotner at 614-203-6046, or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets at the door are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for general admission.
Cotner said last year's event brought in about $12,000.
"We were hugely grateful to our local sponsors, because they made that possible," he said. "We had some great sponsors, so we were able to keep ticket prices low."
He said the Harlem Wizards keep the crowd roaring with jokes and tricky basketball.
"It is a really fun atmosphere for everyone," he said.