Harlem Ambassadors to arrive in Rogers City

ROGERS CITY – The Harlem Ambassadors are coming to Rogers City High School Wednesday for a fundraiser organized by a group of RCHS grads.

The high school’s class of 1994 will hold its 20th reunion soon, class event organizer Bridget LaLonde said, and to commemorate the event they’re bringing in the show basketball team. They’ll play a game against 20 local volunteers at 7 p.m. in the high school gym after giving a pep rally at 1 p.m.

“We had local businesses sponsor a pep rally for all of the kids for all schools, the parochial, the elementary, high school and junior high,” she said. “Even if the kids aren’t able to make it the day of the basketball game, they’ll get to see them.”

The team will deliver its message of getting involved in the community, staying off drugs and staying in school, LaLonde said. They’ll also show off some basketball tricks.

With the help of local sponsors and service groups, each volunteer raised $220 to bring the team in, LaLonde said. This means 100 percent of the tickets sales will go back to the schools. The class will vote later on where the money will go, choosing from academics, athletics and equipment options.

Tickets are $6 for students and $8 for adults ahead of the show, and $8 for students and $10 for adults at the door, LaLonde said. They can be bought from RCAS Athletic Director Dave O’Bryant, the Presque Isle Advance office and at local school sporting events, including Friday’s football game. O’Bryant can be reached at the high school at 734-9170, and the Advance at 734-2105.

The Harlem Ambassadors began as a professional show team in 1997, and has two touring groups that travel all over the world, according to the team’s website. Its players strive to be good citizens and role models to promote drug-free living, education and racial harmony.

At halftime, the team calls kids in the audience down to take part in the show, LaLonde said. They’ll raffle off an autographed red, white and blue basketball as well. Players will hold an autograph session for audience members after the game. LaLonde suggested bringing in the team after she heard another organization was looking into booking it, she said. After the organization changed its plans, she suggested it to her class.

“Everybody jumped on board, they thought it was a good time to give back,” she said.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews.

Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.