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The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

Teachers, students, cops ride donkeys to raise leadership funds

Teachers%2C+students%2C+cops+ride+donkeys+to+raise+leadership+funds

Struggling to stay atop their donkeys, community members shot hoops at an event hosted by the Leadership I students on April 3 to raise money for the freshman and sophomore class councils. At 7 p.m., the students led eight specially trained donkeys into the Auxiliary gym to carry people as they played basketball.

Four 10-minute games were held over the course of the night. In the first, sophomores beat freshman in a 4-8 victory. In the second, two teams, named after two sponsors of the event and made up of students who won a raffle in March, were pitted against each other. Team Linn City Pub lost to Team Mean Street Pizza, 2-4. Amani Grant, junior, led his grade to victory against the seniors in the third game, 4-12. Finally, Steve Schramm, math teacher, and Michael Glane, science teacher, scored the majority of points for the team of teachers who beat the team of police officers, 8-12.

According to Clark Hoss, social studies teacher, this was the first time a Donkey Basketball game has been held at West Linn High since about the early 1990s. Butch Self, leadership adviser, was very familiar with the sport after watching it be used for fundraisers at Sandy High School, his alma mater. His son Tyler, freshman, suggested it to his colleagues during a Freshman Class Council brainstorm of possible fundraisers.

“Everyone in the school thought it was a practical joke for two months,” Butch said. “I showed a video of it to the leadership classes and they decided to do it.

Indeed, though this sport is new to West Linn High School, this sport is not new. According to Tim Harman, sophomore and donkey basketball announcer, the first donkey basketball game was played in 1930, and has continued ever since.

Kathy Lairson, former mayor of West Linn, attended the event to watch her grandson, Aaron Tompkins, junior, play on the junior team, and the game brought back memories of her time at North Eugene High School.

“When I was in high school, it was usually a fundraising thing, put on by a lot of clubs,” Lairson said. “It takes a lot of organizing to put on an event like this.”

The rules of four-on-four donkey basketball are simple: a player may dismount to retrieve the ball but cannot let go of the donkey at any time, and the two steed-less players in center court must keep at least one foot within the circle. The two officials who refereed the games were also herders, tapping long sticks on the ground to make sure the donkeys behaved. All players wore helmets, and while many fell to the floor, none were injured.

“It’s a great first big project for leadership to do,” Butch said. “It teaches them planning and organizing, but there is a lot of outside support from the donkey basketball organization.”

The money raised for the freshman and sophomore class councils so will be used to help plan the prom.

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Elise Brown, Co Editor-in-Chief

Elise Brown, senior, has always felt comfortable standing up and giving her opinion in front of everyone and for the most part, she enjoys it very much.  That is one of the many reasons why she heads the debate team, and also why in June she earned a place in the National Speech and Debate Competition in Indianapolis.

Out of the 250 people entered in the competition, she finished 151st in the country.  Before she earned her rightful place in Nationals, however, she needed to prove herself in Districts and State.

Her 10 minute long speech about socialism and its benefits took first and second in Districts and State, respectively.

“In the National competition the judges didn’t appreciate politics or controversy as much as they did in Districts and State,” Brown said.  This was confirmed from one of the judges she conversed with in order to find out what she could do better.

Brown’s interest in current events started in the eighth grade.  She then did the Amplifier, the high school newspaper to help communicate her ideas about the world with her fellow peers, she also did the debate team to better understand the problems throughout the world and learn how to solve them somewhat.

“Debate involves knowing what is going on in the world,”  Brown said.

This year for upcoming competitions, she has a speech in the works that she feels will top her last one.  This year’s speech is about interdependence inspired by the “you didn’t build that debate,” caused when President Barack Obama told business people that they did not create their businesses on their own.

Brown’s passion for debate has influenced what college she will go to, what she will study in college, and what she wants to do in her life.  Brown’s goal is to graduate high school and then travel to Massachusetts and attend Wellesley College, a very well known and prestigious college, where Brown hopes to study political science.

To achieve this goal she has taken part in a number of rigorous courses and activities such as Speech and Debate, AP Government, AP Economics, Honors Law, AP English and journalism.  Once Brown achieves her education goals, her next goal is to become a political commentator.

“I want to change people’s minds,”  Brown said.  Brown has chosen the path to become a political commentator because she believes political power lies with the media.

Brown has worked very hard throughout high school and continues to work hard through her senior year.  She has taken many challenging courses to achieve her goal of going to Wellesley, and will need to continue down the very rigorous path to success to accomplish her goals.

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Teachers, students, cops ride donkeys to raise leadership funds