By AMANDA ARNOLD
Borden Elementary School student Riley Holmes participated in the annual Hoop Shoot held at Wilson Elementary School with hopes of winning and becoming more active with sports.
“I think this is a good thing, and it helps you get into sports,” said Holmes, who hopes to play volleyball, basketball and tennis at her school.
Each year, Jeffersonville Elks Lodge 362 sponsors the Hoop Shoot that engages every elementary school in Clark County. On Monday evening, the Hoop Shoot was held at Wilson Elementary School, where more than 50 kids participated.
“Every elementary school sends one winner from each age group, so it is one boy and one girl. They are representing their school,” said Gary Woodling, who organizes the event with the Elks Lodge.
The age groups are 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13.
The winners from Monday night will then go on to regionals, state and national competition. Woodling recalled one year a boy from New Washington won the national title.
Last year, New Washington student Samantha Matthews was very successful with the Hoop Shoot.
“I did it before and I won this last year, and got third in the state,” she said.
The event has been a part of Indiana basketball for years, and Michelle Felker remembers it well.
“I think this is really neat, and I remember being here 13 years ago to watch my brother. He won and went to Seymour,” said Felker, whose son represented New Washington.
“I am so proud of him for making it here,” she said.
Drake Felker was equally excited to participate in the Hoop Shoot.
“I think I’ll do very good. I’m hoping to get in the top three or five,” said Drake.
Woodling explained that each school selects the representing child, and the choice may have been made for class participation or basketball skills, but the children do not have to be on a school sports team to participate.
Monday evening was also a special time, as the Jeffersonville Elks Lodge 362 donated a $500 check to Wilson Elementary School. The check will cover winter essentials such as coats, gloves and undergarments for some of the children.
“We have two families that we plan to help with winter necessities. We also have a service through our health office where we provide basic necessities for children. We have two or more children each week in need of undergarments or gloves so we keep them,” said April Holder, principal.
Holder added that she is grateful that the community comes together to help the children, whether it is during the holidays or year-round.
Tom Condit with the Elks Lodge organized the $500 donation.
“The Jeffersonville Elks Lodge 362 is a community organization that is concerned with children, education and veterans affairs. We fulfill basic needs that need to be met, and that the school personnel feel that the children need, which might be shoes, coats, underwear or socks,” said Condit.
He said that the Elks Lodge 362 will continue to give back to the schools year-round.