Letter: Donkey-schoen — as in, thanks! You made Donkey ball a hit!

DONK ON: Donkey Basketball’s senior winners (standing, from left) Caitlin Humbles, Josh Jones, Adam Carter, Hunter Carroll, Robbie Adams, Candace Rutherford, Ashley Crawford and Shalonda Clanagan pose in the winner’s circle with (front row, from left) Taylor Cunningham, the “Masked Manager” and Clayton Hatcher.Courtesy photo
DONK ON: Donkey Basketball’s senior winners (standing, from left) Caitlin Humbles, Josh Jones, Adam Carter, Hunter Carroll, Robbie Adams, Candace Rutherford, Ashley Crawford and Shalonda Clanagan pose in the winner’s circle with (front row, from left) Taylor Cunningham, the “Masked Manager” and Clayton Hatcher.

The Donkey Basketball game on March 12 made us truly appreciate why we are members of the Rappahannock community. It was so amazing to look out into a gym packed with laughing, cheering fans. We sold about 550 adult tickets to this event but when you add in all the children 5 and younger who were admitted for free, there were well over 600 fans in the stands. What a tremendous show of support for our class of 2014 fundraiser!

With ticket sales, 50/50 raffle, $1 donkey rides and a 50-percent split of profits from food sales, we raised more than $2,200. Even the junior class sold more than $100 in baked goods, and Galen and Quinn Sanborn sold 39 Smencils. The generosity was overflowing. With an event this big, it takes a lot of people saying “Yes!” to make it happen, which means a lot of gratitude so here we go:

FAST BREAK (KINDA): Josh Jones, Catilin Humbles, Adam Carter, Matt Lombardi and Logan Vest break for the ball.Courtesy photo
FAST BREAK (KINDA): Josh Jones, Catilin Humbles, Adam Carter, Matt Lombardi and Logan Vest break for the ball.

First, we want to give a huge shout out to Dr. Boone. Without the superintendent’s blessing, this event never would have happened. When we said, “Donkeys in the gym,” he didn’t balk. Such a brave and trusting man! The Buckeye Donkey Ball Company and their representative, Ricky, who ran the show, provided the cutest, buckiest donkeys we could have wanted. If you ever need donkey-ballers, they’re the ones to contact.

Thank you to the Rappahannock County Elementary School volunteers who stuffed 1,000 fliers into Tuesday folders and the Rappahannock News for posting our event. We are also grateful to the Sperryville Corner Store and 211 Quicke Mart for selling advance tickets. Also, a big thank-you goes out to Cynthia Volk, Vickie Miller and Donna Oliver, who took time from their busy days at both the schools to stop and sell tickets. We appreciate Jimmy Swindler and Russell Paulette for setting up for the night. Thank you to RCSSA for running concessions all night and the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad for their thankfully unneeded emergency backup.

When faced with the hundreds of cars streaming in to the school, Gary Hitt graciously stepped up and parked cars for us. Steve Hrabak provided the funniest play-by-play action as our commentator. His wit truly made the night! There were almost forty donkey riders so we can’t name them all, but major kudos go out to all of our faculty and principal riders for literally and figuratively putting themselves out there for our entertainment. This is one item they can cross off their bucket list.

All good things must come to an end. Courtesy photo
All good things must come to an end.

And, of course, our student riders! Their enthusiasm, courage and positive energy were amazing to watch. Thank you again for daring to volunteer. They made us especially proud when we watched them give the little ones the donkey rides. Thank you to our “fall out” committee, Keelee Armor, Dylan Hitt and Caleb Stump. And congratulations, seniors, for taking home the bobble-butt donkey trophy. Well played! Thank you to all the sophomores who worked behind the scenes in the concession stand, doors and selling tickets. Nick Hipple, you are a tireless crusader of ticket sales. Our uber-organized bookkeeper, Gail Czekaj, stayed until the bitter end and kept all of our donkeys in a row! Thank you.

Thank you to my husband, Mark Sanborn, for running around with tickets, helping during the event, and then taking all the donkey poop home and putting it in the yard! I can reminisce every time I sit on our deck and get a whiff. Good times! And finally, Rappahannock County: Thank you all so much for coming out on a Monday night and supporting our crazy venture. You did it with such enthusiasm and joy. We couldn’t have done it without your generous support. Donk On!

Karen Sanborn
and Sarah Burke
Rappahannock County High School teachers

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