The game is a major fundraiser for the Scioto County Special Olympics, to help the program pay for costs associated in participating at local and state activities. This included gas for transportation, uniforms, food, lodging, paying coaches and more. Money was collected Saturday through ticket sales and activities such as split-the-pot, raffles and donations.
“We are involved in a regional track and field event every year, and that’s coming up in April when the team goes to Rio Grande,” said Julie Monroe, an administrator with the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and coordinator for the Scioto County Special Olympics.
“We also do basketball throughout the season and we play people from around the region. We went to state last year, at the summer games,” she said.
Ginny Froman’s son, Mark Rayburn, was playing for the Shooting Stars on Saturday. She said he has participated in Special Olympics for nearly 28 years in swimming, track, bowling and basketball.
“He’s nice and tall so he plays under the basket a lot. He has a real good time,” Froman said.
She said the Special Olympics has been a very positive influence on her son, and has helped him develop social skills while learning about competition and teamwork.
“I see a sense of pride in him. He’s so proud,” Froman said. “And I’m very excited also, and very proud. My husband and I try to attend as many Special Olympics events as we can.”
Also playing on the 2011 Shooting Stars was Chris Bear, Tony Blevins, Lonnie Caldwell, Jeremy Call, Linda Clark, Susie DeLong, Charles Fletcher, John Geyer, Bev Glenn, James Hanes, Bob Havens, Walter Herles, Bobby Holloway, George Jewell, Scott Kessler, Tommy Kinder, Scott McGuire, Bobby Milani, Tony Mills, Britney Nolan, Cheyanne Nolan, Brandi Pennington, Tim Reed, Tony Reynolds, Jessica Riggs and Andy Thibbs; with coaches Rita Arthur and John Sexton.
Monroe said the team plays very hard and especially looks forward to their Celebrity Basketball Game. Many of them lead very sheltered lives, and this gives them an opportunity to get out, be active, make friends and have fun.
“We have two practices each week, all year around,” she said. “We practice in the morning one day a week, but we also hold a practice in the evening for people who need to come in the evening. Some people come to both.”
The Hoopsters were made up of local business owner celebrities, including Brandon Hrusovski of McDonald’s in Portsmouth; Dave Pack and Mike Glockner of Glockner GM Superstore; Robby Porter of Wendy’s in Portsmouth; Bobbie Clark of Taco Bell in Portsmouth; Shane Loper of Pepsi Bottling Company; Karin Campbell, Joy Pick, Mike Ramey and Roxanne Redoutey of Petermann Ltd.; and Lou Bowman, Sandy Perkins, Jessica Wolfe, Keith Chatfield and Ron Pace of STAR Inc.; and coach Chris Montgomery of STAR Inc.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us to get involved in the community. We’re going to help with the giveaway and the free throw contest; we’re going to have a couple of basketball players and we brought Wendy to give out balloons and just have a good time,” said Lacy Maynard of Wendy’s.
The game also had community volunteers from Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, Valley Middle School, Portsmouth West School District, Portsmouth City School and others.
“Really, it’s a community partnership, and the reason we do this is for awareness. So the community can learn more about people with developmental disabilities,” Monroe said.
The game ended with Shooting Stars the victor over Area Business Hoopsters, by a score of 55 to 33 according to referee Jeff Rase.