Charity basketball game raises $15,000

Congressmen and lobbyists shed their Capitol Hill attire of suits and cell phones in favor of basketball jerseys and sweat socks to play in the 2nd Annual American League of Lobbyists Charity Basketball Game Tuesday night at the Smith Center.

Fresh from a vote on the House floor, the Congressmen beat the lobbyists for the second consecutive year 70-67, capturing the trophy and forcing the lobbyists to wear I lost the ALL Charity Basketball Game T-shirts.

The teams hosted an auction that raised $15,000 for D.C. charities, according to Patti Jo Baber, executive director of ALL. Spectators and players bid on a variety of items, from sports memorabilia to plane tickets. Proceeds benefited groups including Horton’s Kids, a tutoring and mentor program, Everyone Wins, an education program, and Hill Staffers for the Hungry and the Homeless.

The strategy tonight was to have fun, play some basketball and raise some money for some charities, said lobbyist Adam Schwartz, a 1987 GW alumnus.

Karin Wasler, who heads the Horton’s Kids charity, brought children from the organization to the event.

We have a lot of supporters on Capitol Hill, and we are really excited about this event, Wasler said.

Mary Salander, who heads Everyone Wins, a charity that serves 4,500 District children, said she was happy GW hosted the basketball game again.

This is a wonderful event and a great tie-in with the University, Salander said. Next year I’m thinking of bringing the children to show them what a university is like.

The ALL Charity Basketball Game is the brainchild of Rep. Jack Quinn (R-N.Y.) and lobbyist Paul Miller, who serves as director of governmental affairs for the Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association. The two basketball enthusiasts coordinated the annual game last year to aid local charities.

Miller, who was captain of the lobbyists’ team, said the teams are assembled on a first come, first served basis.

We have independent to associate to corporate lobbyists, Miller said, describing the many different lobbyists who participated in the event.

The lobbyists, who represent United Airlines, Boeing, IOPFDA and other organizations, beat the team of congressmen, which included Reps. Tom Barrett (D-Wis.), Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Quinn, who served as captain but did not play due to an injury.

Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.), a former professional football player who was scheduled to play for the congressmen, did not participate in the event because of a late vote in Congress.

Quinn said basketball benefits are nothing new to the congressmen who played in the event. Team members play similar events four or five times a year.

Miller and Quinn said GW was a good host for the event.

I really want to thank GW for all of their support, Miller said. Scott Bokker and his staff did a great job.

GW hosted the event last year, and Scott Bokker, event manager for the Smith Center, said the University was eager to respond when they asked to use the Smith Center.

It’s good to do some things like this, Bokker said. It helps with human relations and its good PR for the University.

Miller and Bokker said they look forward to continuing the annual event at GW in the future.

GW was gracious enough to take us in, Miller said. We hope this continues every year.

Quinn said he looks forward to more congressional victories on the court.

This is still growing and getting a little bit better every year, Quinn said. We’re 2 and 0 so far. We’re looking forward to next year’s game.

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