On the last day before spring break, Hope Secondary students had a chance to buy themselves out of the pre-lunch block of classes — and head down to the gym to watch teachers and local RCMP members take on the Mustang boys and girls in a game of basketball.
The buy-out was in the form of cash or non-perishable food donations to the Hope food bank and the entire school bought into the plan. Staff from Envision Credit Union’s head office were on hand for a pre-game shooting challenge, featuring the school’s new Shootaway Gun 8000 shooter-tutor machine that Envision had co-sponsored.
For every shot sunk by three shooters, Envision would make a ten-dollar donation to their Full Cupboard program, which assists community food banks.
Vice president of wealth management, David Yan had good style but did well at managing the company’s wealth by shooting perhaps ninety per cent… misses. Students Manee Warren and Bethany Kuhn totalled seven baskets before time was up.
Envision’s Tamara Hendsbee then joined Yan in presenting a cheque for $500 for Hope Community Service’s food bank.
Teacher Lenora Poulin was colour commentator for the match, using a wireless microphone to heap praise on the Mustangs and friendly jabs at their opponents — which seemed to include the referee, Jeff Kuhn.
The students got on the score clock first but the adults’ rebounding and shooting had them leading by about ten points by half time. Heavily-bearded English and drama teacher, Jon Polishak had the look of Grizzly Adams in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sports glasses. Corporal Darryl Peppler continued the retro theme with some amazing — perhaps fluky — hook shots.
In the end, the adults won 46-30, with the local food bank netting the biggest prize.
“It was a lot of fun for the kids and staff,” said Jeff, Kuhn. “These kinds of events make basketball fun for the whole student body, which is something we are working toward in Hope.
“We’re having a record year with Steve Nash Youth Basketball, with 26 boys and 21 girls registered,” he added.