59°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Once again donkeys make asses out of riders

Donkey basketball fever came to the valley on Friday evening as people filled the Pahrump Valley High School gym to capacity for the second annual game.

The successful fundraiser was started last year by Rosemary Clarke Middle School Principal, Tim Wombaker, to raise money for a special fund for his students that pays for incentives and rewards for those who do well with grades, testing and attendance. During the school year, students have an opportunity to earn bikes or win a trip to the Nugget Bowling Alley or Treasure RV, to name a few.

This year Rosemary Clarke said 894 tickets were sold for a total of $6,000. This means after the asses were paid for PVHS and RCMS will split $3,419.94 (about $1,000 more than last year.)

The game was well received as the crowd erupted with laughter. Mom’s Diner owner, Larry Chumley, had a great time.

“It was really cool. The donkeys pretty much do what they want to do and you can’t leave your donkey. If you have to go get the ball on the floor, you have to take your donkey with you. There was a spunky donkey that would take off running and then all of a sudden it would just put on the brakes and just stop and the rider would just go right over its head and land on the floor. It is a family event all the way from tiny kids up to old people having a ball, laughing and roaring.

When asked if Mom’s would contribute to the business team next year Chumley replied, “We are thinking of it and no, I am not riding the stupid donkey, but yeah, if we can find someone dumb enough to ride.”

Eight teams took to the court. The teams came from all walks of the community. The Nye County School District put up an elementary schools team, a middle school staff team, a high school staff team, a high school student team and a Nye County School District staff team. In addition to the school district teams, there were a Pahrump business team, a Nye County Sheriffs team and a Nevada Southern Detention Center team.

The winner of the tourney was the PVHS staff team who beat the business team in the finals.

This year the event received a bit more negative attention when the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals made some noise. Gemma Vaughan, an animal cruelty case worker from PETA in Virginia, said PETA was alerted to this event by concerned local residents.

“Because of the close proximity of time in which they informed us of the event we asked members to contact both the school administrators and city officials.

Wombaker told Channel 8 News that he received more than 300 e-mails and phone calls about the fundraiser.

PETA wants the school to replace the event with a humane alternative like dodge ball, which Vaughan said other schools in the country have switched to.

“Our stance is it is not OK to abuse animals in order to to raise funds. Donkeys used in these events are exposed to general chaos, the screaming crowd, all of which is extremely stressful to these animals. They are also exposed to the additional trauma of being jumped on, pulled on, kicked and shoved by people who have no experience with these animals,” Vaughan said.

RCMS said the animal rights groups were misinformed.

Nye County School Distinct Superintendent Dale Norton was prepared for protesters to show up.

Norton said he would have had to allow PETA on campus. “Believe me I looked hard at the law to find something, but could not,” he said.

Not a single protester showed up to the game.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Horseshoes tournament in Pahrump gets big turnout

The Petrack Park horseshoes pits were crowded Saturday and Sunday, but Louie Escalante was glad he made the trip for the Pahrump Valley Days tournament.

Beatty players prepare to tackle flag football

Leo Verzilli spent much of last week having no idea exactly what would transpire when football season arrived, which, at the time, was a mere three weeks away.

Pahrump Valley Little League holds tryouts

Melanie Swingle did not have to look far to find incentive to start playing baseball a few years back. The then-9-year-old only had to glance around the dinner table at one of her five — yep, five — younger brothers.

Hatch, Nicosia claim Ice Breaker Open titles

Pahrump residents James Hatch and Mike Nicosia took very different paths, but each claimed a division title in the year’s first horseshoes tournament sanctioned by the Nevada State Horseshoe Pitching Association.

Pahrump Valley Rodeo Club seeking sponsors, raising money

A record 150 competitors from around Nevada will converge on McCullough Arena this weekend as the Nevada State High School Rodeo Association makes its annual stop in Pahrump.

Zaon Collins’ path to UNLV took sudden and tragic turn

Bishop Gorman basketball star’s involvement in an automobile collision that left a man dead has him facing felony charges of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving.

There’s something about a night at the speedway

Dale Geissler has a pretty cool job. No, not district manager in the circulation department for the Pahrump Valley Times and Las Vegas Review-Journal, although I’m sure that job has its share of excitement.

Nevada not alone in placing limits on high school sports

It’s been nearly 11 months since Nevada shut down high school sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All neighboring Western states have done so as well, to varying degrees.