Fundraiser will be a ball

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2009

NATCHEZ — Local leaders will hit the courts Jan. 16 to battle the Harlem Ambassadors to raise money for the Rotary Club of Natchez.

The Harlem Ambassadors are like the Harlem Globetrotters, except they have a message.

They go to schools around the country entertaining children and teaching them to stay off drugs and in school.

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But next Friday, they’ll just be competitors.

Rotary President Gina Buckley said “The Natchez Dream Team” is almost complete, and she hasn’t had a difficult time coming up with players.

“Everybody thought it was just a real hoot,” Buckley said. “They’re so excited about participating in this game. They can’t wait.”

Buckley said this is a general fundraiser for the Rotary Club, and when it came time to plan for it, she wanted to do something different.

“It’s not a typical fundraiser,” she said. “I’m always thinking outside the box, and it’s the way I am.

“I like to do fun and exciting things for the community.”

Buckley said she found out about the Harlem Ambassadors through information that was sent to Rotary.

“Other Rotary Clubs in America have done this, and they’ve been impressed,” she said.

So Buckley began working on getting the Ambassadors to Natchez in July.

“It’s been one of those really fun projects that I love to do so much,” she said.

And though it is a fundraiser, Buckley said she doesn’t care how much money they make.

“It’s just to get the good name of Rotary out into the public,” she said.

And also, Buckley said it’s about community involvement.

“I want to fill up the gym,” she said. “Its capacity is 600, and I want to have 601.”

Those interested can buy advanced tickets at Westaff by calling 318-336-8811 and asking for Buckley.

Advance tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $7 for adults.

Once ticket orders are placed, they can be picked up at Westaff at 311 Texas St. in Vidalia, or there will be a will call booth at the door.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $6 for students and seniors at $8 for adults.

Children under 4 years old are admitted free.

The Boys and Girls Club will have a fundraising concession stand inside.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Cathedral High School gym.

The doors will be open to the public at 6:15 p.m.