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Students struggle with their mounts in a recent Donkey Basketball game at Wood River High School.

High School graduation looms just over a month away, and with it, the annual Senior Bash, a Parent Teacher Student Association event designed to provide the graduating class with a safe and fun way to celebrate their achievements.

Arcade games, bounce houses, photo booths, food, beverages, music and seemingly endless prizes help make this a night to remember for the young graduates.

All that makes the Senior Bash a substantial and fairly expensive undertaking. To help raise funds for the event—which will host students from Wood River High School, Silver Creek High, Sage School, Carey High School and the Sun Valley Community School—the Parent Teacher Student Association will hold two events this week.

The first of those is the annual and reliably hilarious evening of athleticism, equestrianism and laughs: the Donkey Basketball tournament.

Students will face off against their teachers in an ultimate basketball showdown at the Wood River High School gym, all while astride the backs of donkeys.

For those unaware, donkeys are notoriously stubborn creatures, and often refuse to comply with the will of humans even under the best of circumstances. To ride one through a gymnasium among other donkeys, riders and a cacophonously amused audience, all while attempting to dribble, pass and shoot a basketball, is to court misfortune.

Not surprisingly, this event does not showcase the apex of athletic aptitude. Instead, hilarity inevitably ensues, as riders struggle with their mounts, crash into each other, fall apart and attempt to avoid landmine road apples—or perhaps court apples, in this case.

Donkey basketball is, in every conceivable sense of the phrase, a spectator sport.

The game begins at 6 p.m. tonight, April 24, at the Wood River High School gym.

Tickets are available in advance from the school’s front office, or for a slightly higher rate at the door. Adult tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, students from seventh grade through high school seniors are $6 in advance or $7 at the door, kindergarten through sixth grade are $4 in advance or $5 at the door and children under 5 are admitted free. Concessions will also be available.

To expand the funds that Donkey Basketball raises, the group will also hold its annual Senior Bash Yard Sale this weekend, on Saturday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to 3p.m.

Crafts, clothes, knick-knacks and more will go on sale at the Campion Ice House in Hailey. All proceeds from the event benefit the Senior Bash.

The total cost of operation for the graduation party works out to roughly $150 per student, but all seniors are admitted for free, thanks to donations and these fundraisers. To help even out the expenses, the Parent Teacher Student Association also asks parents to consider a $35 donation for attendance.

The Senior Bash will take place on graduation day, Thursday, June 6, and will run from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

The event is part of a national movement called Project Graduation, which aims to keep students safe on graduation night, while still encouraging them to have a good time. As a representative of the Parent Teacher Student Association said, “Graduates can have ‘the time of their lives’ without risking their lives.”

For more information, call 208-578-5020.

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