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Slam dunk donation
The economy can’t shoot down the Silverdale Shootout.
Launched in 2007, the annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, hosted at the Silverdale Beach Hotel, raises funds for local organizations — including $4,500 this year — and tournament organizers are already preparing for 2009.
Shootout co-organizer Chris Koebelin, Silverdale Beach Hotel general manager, presented $1,500 checks to the United Way of Kitsap County and the Bremerton chapter of Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA) on Wednesday. A third $1,500 check was donated to the Central Kitsap Food Bank.
“We’re happy because it’s something, it’s better than nothing. But we’re shooting for more next year,” Koebelin said of the funds raised. “Our goal is to triple or quadruple that total next year.”
Koebelin said the Shootout committee is game planning for next year by marketing, promoting and spreading the word about the tournament. A yearlong endeavor, preparation is what makes for a successful — and widely attended — tournament.
“We want to make it a huge community event that is in the same vain as Whaling Days or the Kitsap County Fair,” Koebelin said. “We want it to be an event like that, where we get people from all over and the end result is money going to organizations to help people, the local community.”
The committee also is in the process of applying to become a nonprofit organization and Koebelin said he believes the tournament will continue to grow and consequently, generate more money for organizations that need it.
“Our goal all along was to get the money to local charities,” Koebelin said.
Amy LaBumbard, president of the NWCA Bremerton chapter, said the $1,500 is “extremely helpful” and will help the club continue its service-providing efforts to local military based organizations and families.
The NWCA of Bremerton, with support of Congress and the Navy was chartered in 1938, and recently donated more than $7,000 through the Wounded Warriors Project. The club, one of 36 local chapters across the United States, also is preparing a Cookies for Santa fundraising event as well as helping at Holly Ridge Center during the holidays.
“We give as much as we can,” LaBumbard said.
United Way of Kitsap County Executive Director David Foote accepted the check on behalf of the organization, saying the money couldn’t come at a better time given the state of the economy.
“These dollars mean so much to the campaign because if there ever was a year when we needed money to come in, this is it,” Foote said. “I’m just very appreciative of the support this basketball tournament has given us.”