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Friday April 18 2014
Juneau: 45°F
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Gold Medal Basketball Tournament underway
Published: 03/21/2013 13:30:00
This week is Spring Break, and that means one thing every year; Gold Medal Basketball. The games are a fundraising effort by the Juneau Lions Club; we spoke with Steve Brandner, the President of the Club, to find out how they got started 67 years ago.

"Juneau Lions Club was looking for a fund raising opportunity and so what they did was selling like brushes or light bulbs or something door to door and somebody said 'You know, all of Southeast Alaska is really crazy about basketball, you guys ought to put on a tournament' so the next year a guy named Del Hanks did, for the Juneau Lions Club, started the Gold Medal Tournament.

And the tournament has also like say over the years evolved more into almost a cultural event too, we have the entertainment, native dancers come and dance, they do a fundraiser dance called a blanket dance on Friday night, they bring communities together, it's almost like, it's not quite like celebration but its close, it's like basketball celebration.

It's been said that its estimated about a million and a half dollars come in associated with the tournament from shopping, hotels, food services, rental cars, hotel rooms, you know all the other services that are here for that influx of people."

The games raise a significant amount of money, which goes towards some very worthy causes. Edward Hotch, the 1st Vice President of the Lions Club, shared with us a few of the worthy causes the Club supports.

"We give each community that's represented here in the Gold Medal; we try to support one of their students for a scholarship for college, and then we help AWARE and other places like that so people that need more stuff that they can't, we provide gifts for a needy family during Christmastime and we provide a meal during Thanksgiving time for those that are in need."

Along with all of the exciting basketball action, there's something else happening this year, we got the details from Ken Spencer, Sales Manager for Stanley Ford.

"Stanley Fords' going to give someone the opportunity to win this Ford Escape, and we're a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Tournament this year, 67th, and halftime, last game and a forty one foot shot, somebody's going to win this car."


http://www.goldmedalbasketball.org/

By: Rik Pruett - rik@kath.tv