Youngsters from 7 Elite Academy are bound for Australia after a massively successful fundraising dinner and auction generated thousands of dollars for the ten-day trip of a lifetime.
Hundreds of guests gathered at Sandra N Lloyd Community Center Auditorium in Riverton for the event, and saw a string of valuable items auctioned off to raise crucial funds.
A 7 Elite Academy team - made up of boys from the 04, 05 and 06 age brackets - will travel to the International Down Under tournament in Brisbane from November 15th.
And their passage to Australia has been made easier after the glittering fundraiser on October 27th.
Julia Howard, Community Liason Officer at 7 Elite Academy, said: “I am overwhelmed by the support our local community has shown for this event and the trip to Australia. I can’t thank them enough.
“We started organizing the fundraising dinner and auction about four weeks ago, and straight away there was huge interest in buying tickets and donating prizes. That continued almost non-stop, right until a few days ago.
“Everyone at the event has had a fantastic time and really got into the spirit of things. There was an opportunity for team photos to be taken, which generated a lot of interest. Of course, the bake sale also proved incredibly popular!
“When it was time for the silent auction, the whole room was gripped by tension over who had won some of the fantastic items up for grabs. I haven’t seen anything like it for a very long time.
“It is great that we have been able to give the lads an extra push towards a real trip of a lifetime.”
The tournament will see 7 Elite Academy play at least three games against Australian opponents, with hotel accommodation at the famous Surfer Paradise resort.
And alongside the competition itself, they will have the opportunity to enjoy trips to the Great Barrier Reef, Tangalooma Island and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Wayne Scholes, CEO of 7 Elite Academy, said: “One of the true strengths of our Academy is its links to the local community in Utah and that was certainly evident at the fundraising dinner and auction on Saturday night.
“I am delighted with the level of support people have shown, whether that is by buying tickets or donating auction items. It shows the power of those wonderful community links and how they are directly benefitting our young players. The opportunity to represent 7 Elite Academy in Australia will stay with them for a lifetime.
“Everyone involved in the trip to Brisbane, from the players to parents, staff and the community, has worked incredibly hard to make it a reality. We hope they had fun at the dinner and realize how grateful we all are for their help.”
Items that were auctioned off included executive seats at a Utah Jazz game, tickets to see Wizard of Oz, dinners at local restaurants and museum tickets.