By Greg Price
If you have a sweet tooth for some sweet basketball competition, Barnwell School has just the thing for you.
Once again Barnwell Trojans teams will be competing against W.R. Myers basketball programs at the school on Thursday as part of cake auction and school spirit basketball game activities.
The girls teams will be competing at 5 p.m. with the boys teams at 7 p.m. where the new gymnasium from the school’s modernization efforts will be showcased.
“The cakes will start rolling through the door at about 4 p.m. and we pick the best 10 and we auction those off,” said Aaron Edlund, vice principal and athletic director at Barnwell School. “We will do three at (girls) half time, four between games and three more at the next half time. Ten has sort of been our magic number in years past.”
A few basketball tournaments have already been showcasing the new gymnasium this basketball season, but the cake auction is being dubbed the unofficial, pre- ‘grand opening’ of the gym where a full showcase of the new school will be done in either mid-July or the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year in September depending on construction crews with Venture Holdings.
“We are hoping we have a really good turn out. There’s a lot of people curious about the school. We are inviting a lot of alumni back,” said Edlund.
“My biggest fear, is the old cake auction definitely has an aura to it, and I’m hoping the aura isn’t linked to how packed we were in the old gym. There were those old diamonds built in the 90s that were huge with no character at all. Now, you see baseball diamonds built a little smaller and they have unique character to them throughout the United States.”
The event has become just as much about the delicious and inventive cakes as it has been about the basketball.
“To be chosen among the top 10 cakes, it’s almost a competition in itself. It’s who brought the best cake and which cake got the most money,” said Edlund. “I know with some, the wheels have been moving for a few months now with what kind of cake they are going to bake.”
The yearly event raises thousands of dollars every year in which the last few years funds have been used to purchase equipment and furniture items for the new school. Despite a nice starting point of heavy government funding for the school’s modernization, Barnwell residents have taken it upon themselves to raise money for the extras to help make the school a sight to see.
“The support of the Barnwell Parent Council for this event has really beefed up some of the things we have been able to purchase, it has definitely helped out. The wish list is still long,” said Edlund.
Demolition has occurred with old portions of the school where many bricks have been salvaged.
They are being sold to Barnwell residents who want a part of their village’s history at the cake auction and basketball games as another form of fundraising.