Anonymous Donor Sponsors Washington Island School Basketball Trip

An anonymous donor quickly came up with $2,000 when needed to help the Washington Island school basketball teams enjoy a tournament on Beaver Island, Michigan.

The island’s Lions Club provided funds to match school funds so that the student-athletes on the girls and boys basketball teams in grades eight through 12 could fly in private aircraft to the Great Lakes Island Basketball Tournament, according to district business manager Sue Cornell. A forecast for bad weather almost canceled the trip, but the anonymous donation paid for lodging for the students to show up early and stay late during the weekend of Dec. 2-4.

The students boarded airplanes late on a Thursday for their flights across Lake Michigan, and then they stayed later into the weekend, until the weather had cleared. Cornell said the Washington Island, Beaver Island and Put-In-Bay students have a lot in common – and an immediate connection – simply by living on islands.

Submitted photo.

“It’s an experience like no other for the students. It’s a good experience for them to meet kids from other islands,” Cornell said.

Elementary school students watched some of the games and cheered in a school classroom via an internet feed on The Washington Island Bucks won the boys tournament, and the island’s extremely young girls team finished third out of three.

Cornell described the trip to Beaver Island as an extremely rare opportunity. The Bucks had no such opportunities in 2020 or 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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