Fundraiser pits locals against Harlem Ambassadors

Basketball game to benefit CASA

Kiki Smith of the Harlem Ambassadors leads the way as she, her teammates and dozens of children dance to “Gangnam Style” during halftime in an exhibition basketball game to raise funds for Capital City CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates). The Ambassadors return next week, playing another game on Monday in support of CASA.

Kiki Smith of the Harlem Ambassadors leads the way as she, her teammates and dozens of children dance to “Gangnam Style” during halftime in an exhibition basketball game to raise funds for Capital City CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates). The Ambassadors return next week, playing another game on Monday in support of CASA. Photo by Kris Wilson.

A Capital City CASA fundraiser will test the true grit and talent of CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers on the basketball court.

CASA’s team, the Capital City Dunkers, will face off at 6:30 p.m. Monday against the Harlem Ambassadors in the fourth annual event at Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville.

CASA’s team, coached by KWOS’s Warren Krech, includes Jefferson City faces, such as Mayor Eric Struemph and the Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Chris Wilson.

The Harlem Ambassadors tour the United States and internationally, offering basketball games chock full of slam dunks, ball-handling tricks and comedy routines.

The team also offers presentations in schools that encourage students to stay drug-free and stress the importance of education. The Harlem Ambassadors will present at Immaculate Conception School, West Elementary School and Blair Oaks Elementary School on Monday.

The basketball game is CASA’s largest fundraiser. The

organization’s purpose is to recruit and train volunteers to advocate for children who end up in the court system because of issues such as abuse and neglect.

CASA Executive Director James Kellerman said the fundraiser is a way to expand the organization.

“The demand for our volunteer services to help abused and neglected children is very high,” Kellerman said.

Game tickets can be purchased in advance at Joe Machens Capital City Ford Lincoln, Samuel’s Tuxedo, Hy-Vee, Ecowater Systems and Finishing Touches Gift Shop. They are $5 for children and seniors, and $8 for adults. If purchased at the gate on the day of the event, tickets will be $1 more.

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