EAST LIVERPOOL-As it nears the end of its "Summer of Sharing" campaign, the Salvation Army of East Liverpool is rallying the troops and saving the best for last.
A hoagie sale is scheduled for Sept. 13, and an exhibition basketball game between the Harlem Wizards and a team of local celebrities will take place at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17.
The two fundraising events will wrap up a campaign that began in June with the promise of matching funds from the Salvation Army's Divisional Headquarters in Cleveland.
S.O.S. Hoopsters (from left) Jeremy Williams and Bill Crawford, and 18 other team members, will be coached by Nate Conley (far right) when they play the Harlem Wizards in a Sept. 17 fundraiser for the Salvation Army of East Liverpool. Tickets for $8 and $10 are available at All-Sports Supply, the Salvation Army and the Calcutta YMCA. (Photo by Stephen Huba)
The campaign's goal is to raise $32,000 toward the Salvation Army's regular programs, such as monthly food distributions and utility bill assistance. Everything raised locally will be matched by the Cleveland office.
With $4,500 raised so far, Capt. Gary Stein admits the campaign has a way to go.
"We're just facilitators of other people's generosity. People give, and we give it back out," Stein said. "We try really hard to do good-to honor God and honor the donors."
So far this summer, the Salvation Army has held a basket auction at the Tri-State Pottery Festival, a children's art auction, an "After Hours" event with the East Liverpool Area Chamber of Commerce and an open house at headquarters, 413 E. Fourth St.
The hoagie sale, scheduled for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 13, will be a repeat of last year's event. "It did very well for us last year. We're hoping that it will only get better," Stein said.
Sales will take place at the Salvation Army
building, with curb service at the Fourth Street exit. Pre-orders will be taken for group orders of five or more, said Kim Blevins, secretary of the Salvation Army board.
The $5 cost includes the sandwich (with or without peppers and onions), chips and a drink. Call 330-385-2086 for pre-orders.
The "Summer of Sharing" will culminate Sept. 17 with a basketball game at Potter Fieldhouse between the Harlem Wizards and a local team of 20 players. Stein described the Harlem Wizards as a team similar in style and showmanship to the Harlem Globetrotters.
The S.O.S. Hoopsters team, to be coached by East Liverpool High School boys basketball Coach Nate Conley, will be made up of local business, government and education leaders, Blevins said.
"We're building a team for the community. We want everybody in the community to know someone who's on the team," she said.
While some members have already been drafted, others will be voted onto the team by the general public, Blevins said. "We're trying to get some discussion and chatter going about the game and raise some money before the game," she said.
East Liverpool Mayor Jim Swoger is already on the team, and either Police Chief John Lane, Fire Chief Bill Jones or Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell will join him. To vote for Lane, Jones or Estell, drop a monetary donation in one of their jars at Tri-State Federal Credit Union, 127 W. Sixth St.
To vote for candidates Barry Shroeder and Ernie Wiseman, call Tri-County Ambulance Service or North Star Critical Care.
Teachers from Beaver Local High School and Middle School, East Liverpool High School, Westgate Middle School, North Elementary School and LaCroft Elementary School will be selected for the team by students at their respective schools, Blevins said.
Other team members include: Jerry Barnett, physical therapist assistant at the Therapy Center in Calcutta, representing East Liverpool City Hospital; Justin Allen, director of the Downtown YMCA; Bill Crawford, founder and executive director of Team Mojo Foundation; Dr. Stephen Nameth, dean and chief administrative officer of the Kent State University Columbiana County campuses; Jeremy Williams, waste scheduler at Heritage-WTI Inc.; and WTOV News 9 sports anchor Rob Metzger.
Voting ends on Sept. 14.
Early ticket sales end Sept. 15.
Bleacher tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Theater tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Tickets may be purchased at All-Sports Supply, the Salvation Army, the Harlem Wizards' Web site, and the Calcutta YMCA. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.