OUR CORNER: Here's an assist to the area's needy

I really like the month of January, named after the mythological two-faced God whose gaze went forward (to the future) and backward (to the past) and was responsible for beginnings and transitions.

January is also a month for getting a fresh start on a new year and putting the past in your review mirror. January used to bring us the Super Bowl, until they extended the regular season to 17 weeks and expanded the format to include 8-8 wild card squads.

Another reason to like January is that is when things begin to take shape in the realm of high school and college basketball.

And speaking of basketball, the benevolent powers who head The Courier-Herald newspapers are allowing me to attempt a massive undertaking  that will require the assistance of at least 100 volunteers.

With the help of this bold, brave few, I am going to endeavor to head up a high school charity coed basketball contest involving willing participants from the four high schools covered by the two Courier-Heralds: White River, Enumclaw, Sumner and Bonney Lake.

The majority of us hardwood freaks are living at least tolerable, if not fairly comfortable lives right now, or at least have a place to call home and enough to eat.

But what about the less fortunate ones, those who are newly or still unemployed, those making an honest attempt to search for work and struggling just to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families?

I wish I could reach out and help every last one, but I don’t possess the resources required to even make a dent.

I do know of a charitable community service group that does, though. It is called Rotary First Harvest and for every dollar donated to this cause, local Rotarians will match this by rolling up their sleeves and organizing voluntary work parties, which focus on funneling thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables into the hunger relief system.

The details surrounding the hoop fundraiser have yet to be ironed out, but my first call concerns the players involved in this coed encounter I am calling the Rotary/Rec Righteous Roundball Rendezvous at the Rock. It is to be played at Bonney Lake’s gymnasium, the one with the painted boulder planted out front.

The gym will be the site of this mix-n-mingle basketball fray between carefully assembled contingents of local male and female cagers, on Saturday, March 24, commencing at 7 p.m.

Several of the players from these eight local prep contingents are possibly going to be enjoying postseason engagements and I wouldn’t dream of interfering with that.

One thing I absolutely cannot do is use the names of the teams. That potentially could impact the number of contests the Spartans, Panthers, Hornets and Hornets had played, knocking it out of kilter for the 2011-12 campaign.

The WIAA governing body would not cotton to that at all and it is not my intention to make waves for anyone concerned.

I believe I have that one covered, as the monickers I have tabbed these two talented teams with are The Couriers in the blue T-shirts and The Heralds in the green T-shirts. The shirts, by the way, are being donated by 4Suns Sports on Cole Street in Enumclaw.

Here is a list of 32 players I have identified for this fundraiser. I need each to respond to jleggett@courierherald.com by St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, telling me whether they will participate.

The Couriers will include: From Sumner High, Zeb Glissmeyer, Dan DeVries, Tayler Holtman and Jamie Lange; from White River, Jason Tyler, Lyle McCarragher, Cassidy France and Erin Worley; from Enumclaw, Perry Rockwood, Bryce Peterson, Danielle Saltarelli and Morganne Borst; and from Bonney Lake, Joey Gamache, Zach Zaragoza, Naomi Pounds and Mckenzie Voellger. Additionally, I am hoping  to enlist the coaching prowess of coaches Brett McDaniel and Rick Tripp, from Sumner and White River, respectively.

The Heralds will include: from Sumner High, Joey Kendall, Dray Kilmer, Robi Long and Brenna Allsop; from White River, Billy Kiel, Alex Sayler, Crystal Narolski and Kennedy Hobert; from Bonney Lake, Mike Gould, Mikey Berger, Jessyka and Kayla Seger; and from Enumclaw, Tony “The Tiger” Chynoweth, Drake “Tall Boy” Rademacher, Fallon Hall and Hannah Calvert.

Gregg Joshlin from 4 Sun Sports has graciously and tentatively agreed to coach the Heralds and I am hoping he will consider enlisting the basketball knowledge of EHS roundball maven Phil Engebretsen, current EHS hoop guide Kellen Hall or current Bonney Lake head basketball coaches, Rob Smith (boys) or Thomas Ostrander (girls).

I want this to be a feel-good gathering, where hoop happiness is happening.


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