A blast from the past


PINE PLAINS — For some it had been a while since they had squeezed into their high-tops and took to the basketball court. For others it was just another evening in the Stissing Mountain Middle/High School gym. For the Pine Plains Bomber Booster Club, last Friday’s alumni basketball game was a first. And with the successful turnout, it looks like it won’t be the last.

Forty-four Stissing Mountain alumni registered for the fundraiser, held on Friday evening, Nov. 27. They were split into two age categories: under 30 and over 30. In fact, event co-organizer Jedd Sims (also the boys varsity basketball coach) said response was so great for the event that he had to turn a lot of former high school athletes away.

"That tells me there’s interest," he said. "We just wanted to try it and see what happens. The younger crew was extremely enthusiastic about it."

Sims said he had heard about similar events at other high schools, and thought it was be a good idea to bring to the district.

"It’s about getting the community involved and building school spirit," he said. "Thanksgiving weekend worked out perfectly with a lot of former students home for the holidays. With the Parade [of Lights] the next day, it’s a weekend for everybody."

Booster Club President Tammy George said the event was a success, and she hoped to see the stakes raised next year and have the alumni games become a staple in the Pine Plains community.

The Booster Club has finished renovating the concession stand by the football field and is working on expanding its concession stand this winter during basketball games. That means buying a new freezer which can be stored in the Stissing Mountain building.

"The concession stand has really grown," George said. "We’re offering more things."

With hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers and an assortment of snacks, George and her fellow Boosters hope to accommodate dedicated families who are traveling straight from work to their son’s or daughter’s athletic matches.

As for the alumni game, free T-shirts were handed out to the players for their participation. Admission fees from onlookers hadn’t been tallied by Monday morning, but George said it was definitely a successful first year.

"Jedd Sims planned everything," she said. "He just told me what he needed. Kenny Lamont donated janitorial services. Some of the kids from the varsity basketball team ran the time clocks for us. I’d definitely like to see it be an annual fundraiser. Hopefully next year we can get even more people involved."

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