Hooves and Hoops
To raise funds for its high school sports teams, the West Yellowstone Booster Club in West Yellowstone, Montana, planned a donkey basketball fundraiser that collected $745.
By Vickie Barta
Vice President, West Yellowstone Booster Club
West Yellowstone High School
West Yellowstone, Montana
Donkey basketball is a very big and popular fundraiser in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the Pacific Northwest. It's a variation of basketball, played on a standard basketball court, but in which the players ride donkeys. This was the second year we held a donkey basketball fundraiser.
I contacted Bruce Wick, President of Donkey Sports, Inc., in Entiat, Washington, one of the leading donkey basketball companies. They were great to work with and supplied everything we needed.
They provide the donkeys, the helmets, and the rubberized shoes for the donkeys so they don't mar the gym floor. Essentially all we do is provide the players. How it works with Donkey Sports, Inc., is they take a percentage of our admission fees. The higher amount you make the lesser percentage they take.
We charged $9 for adults, $5 for kids K thought 6th grade and $7 for kids 7th through 12th grade. We held three games. You need at least five players on each team and most of them had 10 so they could rotate. We're a small town so we just picked teams of alumni versus faculty staff and boys versus girls. It was done so we could draw the biggest crowd.
A volleyball-size basketball ball is used and you shoot and pass while mounted on a donkey. The teams play two six minute halves. The basket is regulation 10-feet high. If you lose the ball, you have to get off the donkey and retrieve it, then get back on the donkey to continue play.
The only drawback was that nature would call once in a while and donkeys would do their business on the court. Fortunately we had a scoop patrol on standby to clean the floor and continue play.
We also held a raffle for an IPad, which brought in $1,256. We bought the iPad at cost at the Apple Store and collected at least double the price. The funds will go toward purchasing equipment and supplies for all of the high school sports teams.