- Louisa-Muscatine FFA Alumni enlist some four-legged help to raise scholarship funds
LETTS, Iowa — If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to basketball, well think again.
On March 6, donkey basketball is coming to the Louisa-Muscatine gym, 14478 170th St.
If you’re asking yourself, “what is donkey basketball?” it’s pretty much just what it says: Basketball played while riding on donkeys.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, the Louisa-Muscatine FFA Alumni will host the game, which will be made up of teams consisting of area high school students — and donkeys.
Tickets for the game are $6 in advance and $8 the day of the game. The teams include an L-M senior team, L-M FFA team, Columbus Junction FFA team and a Wapello FFA team.
Advance tickets can be purchased by calling Cassie Bieri, L-M FFA Alumni president, at 920-250-0144.
The money raised will be used for the FFA scholarship fund. The L-M FFA Alumni give out one, $200 scholarship a year.
Jessica Cordell, co-owner of Dairyland Donkey Ball said the game, and family business, goes back to the early 1930s.
“My great-grandmother’s brother-in-law started it in Ohio in 1934,” Cordell said, adding her grandparents moved from Ohio to Wisconsin in the early 1960s and ran the business from there until 1998 when her grandfather retired.
“My husband and I started our own company in 2004.”
Bieri said the game is used often with FFA events. She said when she was in high school, she played in a game of donkey basketball.
“The donkeys are quirky,” Bieri said. “Some may not move, others run around and a few duck their heads down so you fall off. People love it.”
Bieri said there will also be a calcutta auction, for area businesses or those who want to get more involved in the fundraising efforts. During a calcutta auction,teams get auctioned off and all the money raised goes into one pool. The team that wins the mini-tournament gets half the pool and the the purchaser gets the other half of the money.
“We’ll have an auctioneer at the game and that will kick off the night,” Bieri said.
Also listed on the donkey ball website is donkey baseball and donkey races. Cordell said baseball is slower, but “we don’t play as many baseball games because basketball is more popular.”
“We do about 250 donkey basketball games a year,” Cordell said. “We do races too at fairs and festivals and plan to visit Iowa a lot this summer.”
Cordell said people who attend a game love it.
“It really brings communities together,” Cordell said.
The company also manages to pack a little humor into the show, giving audiences a little chuckle at the good-natured expense of their donkey employees.
Take for example one of the team’s featured bucking donkeys. It’s name: Hemorrhoids.
As far as anyone knows, the donkeys don’t seem to mind being the butt of their employers’ joke.