Thursday, January 30, 2003
Oak Creek Soroco Middle School girls basketball players got new uniforms just in time for their team pictures, thanks to the generosity of strangers.
Randall Hannaway, president of the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, was sitting in the stands of a Soroco basketball game midseason last year. A close friend of his had a daughter in the game.
When the Rams ran out onto the court, Hannaway noticed their uniforms were hanging off their bodies like older siblings' hand-me-downs.
That observation wasn't far from the truth. When Hannaway asked, he found the girls were wearing discarded boys uniforms; the money just wasn't available for new uniforms.
"We have the teams on uniform rotation because of the financial constraints we have," Soroco Athletic Director Andy Johnson said.
"They didn't seem to mind," he said. "They had a lot of spirit."
That spirit may have been strong on the inside, but it looked a little shabby on the outside compared to the Kremmling team Hannaway watched run onto the court.
"They were all tricked out in nice sweats," Hannaway said.
At the next meeting of the Board of Realtors, Hannaway asked for the money to buy the Soroco team new uniforms.
"It was an easy decision (for the board)," he said.
The board told Soroco Middle School to order the uniforms and they would bring the check.
"These are uniforms for their own use. They don't have to share," Hannaway said.
The uniforms arrived last week.
The timing couldn't be better, Johnson said. This year, the school changed their team colors from blue and white to maroon and white.
"We were able to get the girls wearing school colors a year earlier than we would have been able to (afford)," he said.
The girls basketball team will be playing at home, in its new uniforms, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"I grew up in Iowa in a town where we never went without," Hannaway said. "It wasn't about being rich, but when the wrestling team needed shoes, a local farmer would tell us to go to Allen's and buy them and he would foot the bill.
"I would like to see more of that happen here."