Donkey basketball at Tarkington nets big bucks for Project Graduation

Lance Haltom struggles to get his donkey moving in a donkey basketball game held Wednesday at Tarkington High School's gym.

Some of the adult players in donkey basketball games on Wednesday at Tarkington High School were no doubt nursing some minor bruises and strains on Thursday, but it was all for a good cause – to raise money for Project Graduation.

According to Donny Haltom, one of the event’s organizer, the games and bake sale netted $4,000, all of which will help keep Tarkington High School’s graduating seniors safe on graduation night this May.

An estimated 300 people attended the games to watch the hilarity between teams as they competed for the ball while astride donkeys. Few actually got the ball into the hoop, but no one really cared about the score. The games pitted high school seniors against members of the community.

As it is election season, all of the candidates for Liberty County Court at Law No. 2 – Terry Bacon, Farrah Harper, Wes Hinch, Michelle Merendino and Zack Zbranek – made an appearance. State Rep. Ernest Bailes attended as did Pct. 5 Constable David Hunter and Deputy Constable Laci Pierce. Pierce, along with District Attorney Logan Pickett and his challenger, Jennifer Bergman Harkness, got into the fun by riding donkeys around the Tarkington High School gym. The donkeys were outfitted with rubber shoes so they would not damage the gym’s hardwood flooring.

At the end of the night, the tired donkeys were trotted off to their trailer and a bake sale was held with Haltom acting as announcer and auctioneer.

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