Harlem Ambassadors to face Oliver celebs in fundraiser

Harlem Ambassadors to face Oliver celebs in fundraiser

The Harlem Ambassadors are coming to Oliver thanks to the Rotary Club, which is fundraising for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion project. A local team of celebrities will challenge the basketball wizards in a hilarious slam dunk affair on Sunday, April 30 at Southern Okanagan Secondary School. (Photo contributed)

By Lyonel Doherty

The Harlem Ambassadors may think Oliver will be a pushover on Sunday, April 30, but they haven’t met “The Twin Towers” yet.

Legionnaire Peter McKenna and the Chronicle’s Randy Kassian (don’t you dare call him “shorty”) will be among the celebrities taking on the basketball wonders at the end of the month in a Rotary Club fundraiser at Southern Okanagan Secondary School.

“What skills do I bring to the table? My personality (of course),” said a beaming McKenna. “It ain’t my height.”

Kassian, who stands an amazing five feet tall, said they’re going to have three practices before the big game . . . “and this is one of them” (being interviewed).

“I’m just going there to sign autographs,” he noted.

McKenna said the event will be fun, and the cause is very worthy. All proceeds will benefit the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion project.

Many organizations have used the Harlem Ambassadors to help raise money for various projects. The team consists of young men and women who have attended college, played college basketball and are drug free.

Rotary Club president Jennifer Roussel said they are working on forming a celebrity team to challenge the Ambassadors at their own game.

So far, the South Okanagan All-Stars include Brock Jackson from EZ Rock and Randy Farmer from Sun FM.

Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes will coach, making sure everyone follows Robert’s Rules of Order and scores at least one point each.

MLA Linda Larson will be the water girl. Adam Sandler was scheduled to give her a few pointers, but he’s not a Liberal.

Chamber of Commerce president Brian Highley will also try to score a few and take care of the business side of things, such as collecting membership fees from errant individuals. He’s slightly taller than Kassian, so he should do well.

Devon Wannop, chief financial officer for the Town of Oliver, will ensure that everything balances, including the ball.

School trustee Rachel Allenbrand will educate everyone on being nice, but will give time-outs where necessary.

All-Star team coordinator Dale Cory from Rotary is actively recruiting other stars, including a couple from Oliver Elementary and one or two from the SOSS Hornets. (The celebs have to score at least one basket.)

Cory said he envisions a front court lineup of Jackson, Farmer and Wannop, and a back court contingent of Kassian, McKenna and Highley. Don’t laugh or they will punish you . . . somehow.

You’ll see high-flying dunks (not from these guys) and hilarious comedy (maybe from these guys . . . if someone holds them up to reach the hoop).

The Rotary Club will host a barbecue at 1 pm prior to game start at 2 pm.

Tickets are available at Interior Savings Insurance, Beyond Bliss and Royal LePage South Country Realty.