For the third year in a row, the Harlem Wizards will return to Medina to help raise money for a school levy campaign. The Wizards are an exhibition basketball team, similar to the Harlem Globetrotters, that combines extraordinary athleticism with hilarious comedy.
Their opponents in Tuesday’s fundraiser game will be The Marvelous Medinamos, a team of students, teachers, principals and community officials.
Tip off is 7 p.m. at the Medina High School gymnasium, 777 E. Union St. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Brigid Turrittin, co-chair of Kids First Medina, the levy campaign organization, said the group hopes to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 at the event from a percentage of ticket, concession and merchandise sales.
“Unfortunately though, our presale numbers are way down,” Turrittin said.
In previous years, she said Wizards games have sold 1,200 and 1,600 tickets ahead of time. This year, they’ve sold less than 100 tickets so far.
She said the presale numbers are possibly down because in past years students brought home flyers advertising the games.
Now, “everything is paperless,” she said, and events are advertised online on the school district’s web site.
Also, in past years, the levy campaign brought the Harlem Wizards in the spring instead of the fall, Turrittin said.
“We usually do in the spring, and doing it in the fall, I think there’s more going on,” she said.
Money raised will go toward print and digital levy promotion materials, including newspaper advertisements, yard signs and larger billboard-style signs, she said. Kids First will soon start handing out “vote yes” stickers that levy supporters can paste on their “Proud to be a Medina Bee” signs.
The five-year, 5.9-mill levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $206 a year. If the Nov. 5 levy fails, cuts include a plan to close Heritage Elementary School and eliminate middle school sports and extracurriculars. If it is approved, some past cuts will be restored, including high school busing along with reading and gifted intervention at the elementary level.
Audience members can expect an entertaining show, Turrittin said. The Wizards are known for their basketball tricks, audience interaction, comedy and dance routines.
“It’s a fun show in addition to a game,” she said. “You get to see your teachers playing. It’s not serious basketball.”
Tickets cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door and can be bought at any Medina school or online at www.harlemwizards.com.
Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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