Shareholder Spotlight: Volunteer with the FNA Johnson O’Malley Youth Basketball Tournament
Sign up to play or volunteer by February 17, 2017
Winning teams from the 2016 tournament receive their trophies.
Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) will host the 18th annual Johnson O’Malley (JOM) Youth Basketball Tournament March 13 – 15, 2017, at the Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Students in third through 12th grade are welcome to apply to participate by the February 17, 2017, deadline. Event organizers are also seeking volunteers. Applications for participating and volunteering can be found at www.fairbanksnative.org.
The spring tournament was started 18 years ago by previous Johnson O’Malley program director, Linda Woods, and community services program director, Freda Williams, both of whom have since retired. Originally, Fairbanks youth were invited to participate in the tournament to do something fun for free during a busy week of meetings taking place in March between the Tanana Chiefs Conference convention, Doyon, Limited annual meeting of shareholders, and Fairbanks Native Association’s annual meeting. Not long after the tournament became an annual event did requests from villages come in for their kids to also participate.
Now, the tournament takes place each year for youth from Fairbanks and surrounding villages with the help of sponsors, volunteers and coordinators. FNA is currently seeking volunteers to serve as coaches, gatekeepers, timekeepers, scorekeepers, monitors, first aid support and concession stand workers.
“As the tournament continues to grow, we are always looking for volunteers. Without people stepping up and volunteering this could not happen the way it does,” stated Niki Guthrie, FNA program assistant. “The older students that were on teams at one time are now our volunteers, as coaches, timekeepers, scorekeepers, monitors, door collectors and concession. We start in the fall with ordering trophies, medals and basketball shirts, sending out sponsor letters, re-checking our inventory, notifying our referees, and reserving the Tanana Middle School gym(s). While our tournament is held in March during the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District spring break, there is a lot of preparing to do. When you see those basketball players ‘shine’ and their smiles and they have their game together, it’s worth it all.”
For more information or to get involved, visit www.fairbanksnative.org or call 907-452-1648 ext. 6403.