The big day started out like any other hill country Thursday morning in late January. Cool, but not too cold outside... the weather guy called for a chance of showers, but not much, maybe a 20% chance. The city of Blanco went about its business like any other day in the life of our small town. The same lunch crowd began to form just like any other Thursday. If I had to pinpoint a time when the excitement started to grow, it would probably have to be just after lunch. About that time, there was a touch of anxious excitement beginning to build. You could sense it everywhere you went. I started to see it around town and then I began to hear it as the day went on. I began to hear more and more people asking, "Is this where we can buy tickets to the game...?" The phone began to ring off the hook with questions about the event that was soon to unfold.
Okay, I started to think maybe there was something to this little ole’ basketball game that we'd been planning. Pretty soon, the basketball game was the only thing folks were talking about. It became pretty clear on that Thursday night in the city of Blanco that a Harlem Ambassadors’ basketball game would be the place to be.
As we arrived at the high school and began to ensure all areas of the event were ready for the big night, it was then the excitement became very real. The person scheduled to escort the Harlem Ambassadors professional basketball team from the hotel to the high school gym was on her way with the team from their accomodations at Blanco Best Western Plus. As the Harlem Ambassadors were on the way, the volunteer community choir began to assemble.
Volunteers began to man the concession stand with help from Sysco, Super S Foods/Lowe’s, Uptown Blanco. Meanwhile, at the main entrance to the gym, more volunteers were selling tickets at the door, beginning to let the crowd file into the gym, and selling Harlem Ambassadors t-shirts. Also, at many events held at the high school gym, all the different entrances have to be watched. This is not a very exciting job, but a very important one.
Months prior to the big day, we found ourselves with a minor problem. We had scheduled a professional basketball team to come to our town, but we did not have a basketball team to challenge them. This, for many towns, might have been an issue, but for the city of Blanco it was not a problem. Talented, athletic people just came out of the woodwork ready and willing to play. Well... okay... it did not happen quite that way, but we did manage to assemble quite a list of dedicated individuals who initially began as a group and by game night were, in fact, a team – our team, The Blanco All Stars, made the whole evening an exciting time for everyone.
We finally received word that the high school band and the community church choir should begin to file into the gym about 6:25pm. After a short rehearsal with Band Director Brian Hecimovich and Assistant Band Director Brandon Aly in the high school band hall, the good-looking group of performers was lined up in the cafeteria area ready to march in.
After reaching the center of the basketball court, the performers stood ready. The announcer introduced the group and the evening was under way with the playing of our national anthem.
The evening turned out to be a great night of entertainment for the entire family. It seems like everyone went to the game. Even our own mayor, Chuck Homan, was in attendance and he said, “This was a wonderful event and I was surprised at the great turnout… to see all the people that were in attendance was exciting… the place was packed.”
The Chamber of Commerce and EMS Boards of Directors did all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making an event like this happen.
Here is what some had to say:
“As new members to the Blanco Business community, it was very encouraging to see the high level of community support for the local EMS and Chamber of Commerce. What a great event and we hope to see more like it.” –Scooter Womack and Tommy Haydon, New England Financial
“Wow! Completely awesome! It was great to see all fun and no competition…it was a great night!...it was the best fundraiser this town has ever seen…I think our Blanco All Stars were just as funny as the other team…I really enjoyed it!” –Tracy Cole, Express Care
“My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and we thought it was very funny and we would definitely attend again.” –Kathee Copeland, President of the Blanco Woman’s Club