When former local high school basketball standouts, DCHS's Sara Jo Ferguson and DHS's Tara Butler Vick, organized the first-ever alumni game last year to benefit the family of the late Delmer McNeil Jr., neither of the two could have ever imagined how things would turn out.
When the event was over and the McNeil family was presented with the proceeds raised from the event totaling over $20,000, it became crystal clear that the duo were on to something good that shines a positive light on the entire community while helping someone in need.
On Jan.19, 2013 the community will again have the opportunity to show its support. This year, the proceeds raised from the event will benefit local residents Monica Permenter and Robert Cupples.
Permenter is currently battling cancer, while Cupples suffered a massive stroke in October.
The rosters, featuring former players from both DCHS and DHS, are set and plans are under way for the 2nd Annual Alumni Basketball Game to be held at Dyer County High School. Last year's event was held in front of an overflow crowd of more than 2,000 people at Dyersburg High School. Ferguson believes the second annual event being held at DCHS will also draw a large crowd.
"Last year was just awesome and I think at Dyer County we'll have more room and we hope the support and turnout will be just as big," said Ferguson. "We want to make it bigger and better every year."
Though the two games will be the highlight of the event, there will be entertainment provided at halftimes of both games. Local dance teams will perform during the halves, and there will be a shooting contest at the half of both the boys and girls games sponsored by Rick Hill Nissan and Davis Wealth Services.
During the shooting contest, two people in attendance will be chosen to shoot a half-court shot and, if the shot is made, win either $15,000 or a brand-new Nissan Versa Hatchback.
The first game featuring former Lady Choctaws and Lady Trojans will begin at 5 p.m. and will be played with two 20-minute halves. The nightcap will feature the boys game and will begin shortly after the girls game.
"We were able to raise $20,000 last year and we hope to raise that much if not more this year," said Ferguson. "The benefit is the main thing, but Tara and I just really want to see Dyersburg and Dyer County come together since they don't play each other anymore. We think this is a great event and it brings everyone in the community together."
Prior to the start of the games, there will be a chili supper starting at 4 p.m. Tickets to attend the supper are $5 for adults and $2 for anyone 10 and under.
T-shirts commemorating the event will be on sale for $15 and Koozies will be available for $1.
The games will be professionally recorded and available on DVD for $10 for a single game or $15 for both contests.
Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for anyone 18 and younger. Children 5 years old and younger will be admitted free. For those attending the event, there will be an option to buy additional tickets for $1 to increase chances for the halftime drawing.