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Riverton-Lander to play charity basketball game Saturday

Mar 23, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

The Lander and Riverton volunteer fire departments square off again Saturday night on the basketball court.

The second annual charity basketball game hosted by the two departments will raise money for the Tough Enough to Help Cancer Fund.

The March 24 game at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander tips off at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets at the door are $5 for each adult, $3 for kids and free for children younger than 4. A family package including two adult and two child tickets costs $15.

Will it again be the Lander team that came out on top last year in the debut basketball match?

"Last year I was pretty nice. I told them to stack up on oxygen and Ibuprofen. The recommendation is there again," Lander fire administrator Nick Hudson said.

Or will the Riverton team climb back from defeat, like a firefighter pulling a hose up a 20-foot ladder, and claim victory this year?

"Lander Fire Department had to buy a new truck to haul all their ice cream for the basketball game," Riverton Fire Department's David Woolery said.

"We're looking for people to come out and enjoy the evening," Woolery said. "It will be a good family entertainment night to help support your local cancer patients and also show support for your local fire departments while they support the fight against cancer."

Whichever team wins, the ultimate winner will be cancer patients in Fremont County. Hudson said the match has become an annual event after the debut last year that raised about $3,600 for the Tough Enough Cancer Fund.

"It's something we want to continue. It's a game to help Tough Enough fight cancer in Fremont County. It all stays in Fremont County and it all goes to Fremont County people," he said about proceeds raised from the event.

The match provides money to help people suffering from cancer in Fremont County with their expenses such as travel to get treatment in Casper. "

It's for any resident that has to have extra money to help out with their fight," Hudson said.

The game itself began with talks about getting the two departments to play sports or other activities together. "It kind of started as just a conversation between a few of the members, between the two departments. Of course we get along really well. We pick on each other a lot," Hudson said.

Instead of simply playing a sports match, it became about "getting together and saying we want to put together some kind of game, and it ended up being a fundraiser around it." Hudson pointed out the unique situation surrounding the match. "It's two volunteer departments that both depend heavily on donations raising money for somebody else," he said.Both teams are getting ready for the rematch.

"As far as the Riverton Fire Department, we're practicing two to three times a week for approximately two hours a night," Woolery said.

For a prediction of the outcome, Woolery didn't go out on a limb: "A low-scoring game with the cancer patients winning the outcome," he said.

"We don't want to say that we're going win. Ultimately the cancer patients are winning."

Hudson foresees a repeat of last year happening: Lander and Tough Enough Cancer Fund both winning.

"I still think we're gong to win by 10 this year," he said. The game will have silent and live auction items available. "Donations are coming along pretty good," Woolery said.

"We're still looking for any businesses that want to donate items or money, of course, to help out with proceeds to the cancer patients."

There will be up for auction some Denver Broncos tickets, gift certificates and blankets.

Sponsorships for the event are available that include levels of $50, $100 and $250 or more.

Call Hudson at 332-2209 or Jeremy at 335-7587 for more information.

"There will be plenty of opportunities to buy things, win things," Hudson said.

And there will be plenty of opportunity for entertainment.

"Riverton is running low on supply of Tylenol to help with all the aching muscles. Fremont County Ambulance will be on standby with oxygen and an AED," Woolery said.

"I might just say it's probably not going to be as exciting as if you went to watch a college or high school basketball game, but it is going to be a lot more entertaining," Hudson said.

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