Articles and Letters
Donkey basketball game met with protests
20 Nov 2007
WNYT, Albany NY
JOHNSTOWN -- Protestors gathered outside a Fulton
County High School Monday night, as a student group was inside trying to
raise money. The fundraiser at Johnstown High School pitted juniors
against seniors in a game of basketball. The issue wasn't so much the
game or who was playing, but rather what the students were playing with.
The gym was packed and the students were ready to put
on a show. But they would need some help from ten donkeys running up and
down a basketball court. The teenagers hopped on, some more successful
than others, each trying to put the ball in the basket.
"Just to get a good laugh at some of the seniors, most
of the juniors. It's just fun," said student Andrew Ortiz.
This donkey basketball game was a fundraiser for
Johnstown High School's International Club. But to a few protestors
outside holding signs, the game is no laughing matter. They claim
trotting these donkeys out onto a basketball court is just downright
"Because the participants think of this as a
fundraiser, they think of it as a fun thing to do, a game, a way to
raise money. They don't really think of the animals," said protester
Brachah says participants can mishandle the donkeys
because they're not used to dealing with the animals. She also says a
noisy and crowded gym can be stressful on the donkeys.
"They're in a situation that they don't understand,
forced to do things they're not even aware of," she said.
But this type of fundraiser is nothing new to
Johnstown. The school's principal says they've been playing donkey
basketball on and off for the past 25 years.
"I couldn't tell you why they decided this year they'd
make an issue of it," said Principal Michael Beatty.
This was the first year there was a protest.
"I think it's ridiculous. They've been playing donkey
basketball for years. Now all of a sudden they're freaking out, coming
here with signs. I think its fun," said student Victoria Panetta.
"Like I said, everybody has their own point of view,
to each their own," said Jeanette Klumbach, a mother of one of the
Johnstown's principal says the International Club will
probably raise more than a $1,000 at the event. He say's the students
will use the money to fund trips along with sponsoring foreign exchange
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