Thursday, April 9th, 2020
Jamba receives donations despite cancellation
By Colin Foster
The Jamba Hoops 3-on-3 Easter Classic was supposed to be held this weekend in Minster.
And the event was going to see a record turnout in its 14-year history.
"Our previous high (for teams) was 32, and we were already at 37 this year," explained tournament president Brooks Topp. "We were bummed out when we realized we were probably going to have to cancel."
The tournament committee will not be canceling their donation to Tailgate for Cancer, though. Most of the teams had paid their sign-up fees in advance, and only a couple of them asked for a return.
"We sent out a feeler email, initially, saying we were probably going to be canceling and let us know if you want your money back. We also put it on Twitter," Topp said. "We had maybe two teams contact us that said they wanted their money back."
With several event regulars getting older, the tournament committee successfully recruited a younger playing pool this year. A number of college-aged teams were among those who did not request a return on their $60 entry fee.
"We were pretty happy that the college kids all donated back," Topp said. "Sixty bucks can (go a long way for them)."
Topp estimated this year's total to be near $2,500 - raising Jamba's total all-time donations to roughly $42,500. Chicken dinner tickets sold by the Minster National Honor Society were also included in the proceeds. Money raised by the tournament in the past had gone to American Cancer Association before making a switch to support Tailgate for Cancer four years ago.
Topp, Chad Miller and Scott Steineman were in their fifth year of running the Easter-time hoops tradition. Adam Knapke was also a member of this year's team. They had been on pace to beat past numbers before the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak intervened. Still, the group couldn't have been more thrilled with the generosity of the everybody involved.
"We were well on our way to having a record year, for sure," Topp said. "But we're still glad we can donate even without holding the event. It's pretty neat to show what kind of people we have in our area."