OHYAA helps with fund-raising effort

Even though the proposed athletic facility at Oak Harbor High School focuses on outdoor sports, some youth basketball players did their part to help the project become a reality.

Members of the Oak Harbor Youth Athletic Association raised more than $1,700 during a fund-raiser held last month.

Mike Washington, OHYAA president, presented the $1,755.60 donation to the Rotary Stadium FundRaising Coalition Friday afternoon.

“It’s a wonderful thing that organizations from all directions are coming forward to support this,” said fund raising co-chair Lyle Bull.

The donation stemmed from a one-day free throw shoot-a-thon that took place in early February.

The participants sought pledges and donations for the event, where each basketball player shot 100 free throws and earned money for made baskets.

Washington said OHYAA was challenged by Whidbey Islanders GU-17 Soccer Team who raised $500 for the new athletic facility.

OHYAA is a community organization that provides students, fifth grade to eighth grade, a chance to play select basketball.

The noon Rotary is spearheading the campaign to raise $1 million to offset costs for a new athletic facility that would be built at the high school. The new facility includes a stadium, track and field, baseball diamonds and tennis courts.

Bleachers at Memorial Stadium were demolished in the fall of 2003 after being ruled unsafe. The school district is currently renting bleachers to replace the old ones. The current track at the high school is also unsuitable for competition, as no home meets are scheduled for this spring.

In addition to OHYAA’s efforts, Whidbey Orthopedic Surgeons in Coupeville donated $10,000 in honor of its 25th Anniversary and Lowell Peterson, owner of ACE Hardware also donated $10,000.

Since the campaign began in the mid-2004, more than $330,000 has been raised.

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