A benefit basketball game chock-full of high light reels, no-look passes and laugh out loud humor figures to be a slam dunk with its audience later this month.
Indeed, a chance to watch the internationally-acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors work their magic figures to be well worth the price of admission when they take the court to play the Jim Thorpe Thunder.
The game will be held at 3 p.m. March 27 in the Jim Thorpe Area High School gymnasium. The cost for adults is $8, and students $5. Children under age 4 are free.
The event is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Jim Thorpe, whose focus has been on youth through college scholarships to graduating seniors in three area high schools, and opportunities for rising juniors to attend a weeklong summer leadership program held at Keystone College. In addition, funds are directed to the summer camp program in Memorial Park, the Christmas Present Project for clothing to disadvantaged children, dictionaries to all third graders in the Jim Thorpe area, and to the exchange student program.
Many other requests from the community are considered as presented. Finally, funds are also sent to Rotary International to commingle with other clubs worldwide to eradicate polio.
Tickets are available at all six branches of the Jim Thorpe National Bank, the Dimmick Memorial Library, the Pencor Super Store in Palmerton, and the Blue Ridge Communications offices in Lansford and Lehighton. Students in four organizations at Jim Thorpe Area High School are also offering them and they are available by mail, or at the door.
The Harlem Ambassadors offer a unique brand of Harlem-style basketball, featuring high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball-handling tricks, and hilarious comedy routines. The Ambassadors feature non-stop laughs and deliver a positive message for kids wherever they play.
"At our shows, we want the kids to know that they are part of our team too," Lade`Majic said. "We invite as many kids as we can to come sit on the bench, have a front-row seat during the show, and get involved in all of the fun stuff we do."
The Ambassadors have worked extensively with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and American Red Cross as well as Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis clubs in communities throughout the U.S. and perform more than 200 shows a year, which have helped raise millions of dollars - an accomplishment of which Ambassadors President Dale Moss is very proud.
"It feels good to be able to provide quality entertainment and create memories that the fans will take with them," Moss explained. "We're able to give even more when we can help provide funding for a Habitat for Humanity house or new computers for the school library, and that feels great."
The Thunder is a team composed of former area high school stars and Jim Thorpe personalities as well as employees from several Pencor companies.
Jim Thorpe players include coaches Brian Carroll and Jason McElmoyle, Terry McElmoyle, Trisha McElmoyle, Kevin Binder, Ron Rabenold, Jeremy LaClair, Eric Schrantz, Jim Paluck, and UPS Brown truck beeper, Peggy Sue Harris. Pencor players will include Jaime Mendes, Ed Kiss, Terry Ahner, James Tighe, Ryan Dutt, Travis Carroll, Johathan Gower, and Traci Cyr. Don Herman is the coach and Bill McGinley, Carbon County Clerk of Courts, will be wearing the striped shirt and blowing the whistle.
More information is available at www.jimthorperotary.org/ambassadors.cfm, or by calling 570-325-2346.