The Harlem Wizards made their way to Tahoma High School on May 3 to help the Tahoma Schools Foundation raise money for the district.
Based in New York, the Wizards tour across the country to perform a show that puts a different spin on basketball with humor, talent and crowd interaction.
This is the fourth year the foundation has hosted the Wizards. Scott Mitchell, dean of students at Shadow Lake Elementary School, was one of the Tahoma staff members who played against the Wizards last Friday. He has joined in on the fun every year that the foundation hosts the show.
“It’s so much fun. They’re such a great group of guys. It’s a lot of fun to get out there and do something great for the community. Just to be part of that is really fun,” Mitchell said.
Playing against the Wizards might seem intimidating because they can make a shot from almost half court, but Mitchell said the team is super easygoing and let the Tahoma staff shoot the ball whenever they got the chance.
President of the Tahoma Schools Foundation Dan Nielsen said the event was a success. He said his favorite part of the night was to watch the crowd interact with the Wizards.
“What I really love about the Wizards is any kid who goes to that event gets to meet the players. They will not leave until they’re done doing that. They really believe that and that’s really part of their mission,” Nielsen said.
Another great aspect of this specific event, according to Nielsen, is that it’s not only a great fundraising event for the foundation, but also for the different PTAs in the district. He explained that the Tahoma High School PTA was in charge of the concession stand, while the middle school PTA representatives took over the souvenir stand and the elementary school PTA volunteers took responsibility over the little carnival that took place right before the game.
In total that evening, between ticket sales and the other aspects of the event, Nielsen estimated more than $10,000 was raised for the foundation and the PTAs.
“We’ve turned it into a fundraising opportunity for the PTAs for them to reach their goals and then a fundraising opportunity for us and an entertainment opportunity for the community,” Nielsen said.
The money that the foundation gets will go toward programs within the Tahoma School District that tax dollars do not fund, Nielsen said. For example, the foundation helps fun Tahoma High School’s robotics club when they go to competitions. The foundation also gave the band program $20,000 to buy new instruments.
“The money that is raised goes towards a great, great thing — the Tahoma Schools Foundation is a great foundation. They do a wonderful job supporting our students, our community and our staff. We’re lucky to have them,” Mitchell said.