Alumni compete during last year's Tanneberger Tournament.
For the 34th year, alumni of Westport Central School will return to remember one of their own and raise money through playing basketball.
The annual Dr. Tom Tanneberger Memorial Alumni Basketball Tournament will be held Saturday, March 16, with games starting at 1 p.m. and running throughout the day featuring four men’s and two women’s teams.
Previously, the men’s tournament was broken up into teams representing different decades of graduates. Recently, the teams have been chosen with different decades playing together.
“It has been a goof thing because you have some older guys who just want to get out there and play and we mix them together with the younger players,” Carol Schwoebel, sister of the late Dr. Tanneberger, said.
Schwoebel and her husband, Jeff, have been working as tournament organizers for many of the 34 years the tournament has been taking place and are joined on the Tanneberger Scholarship board by Jim Forcier, Pete Frisbie, Michael Tyler and William McHone.
“Jim has been involved since the get-go,” Schwoebel said. “There have been a lot of people that have done so much to help, including the board that we have now.”
Alumni participating in the tournament are asked to sign in by noon March 16. The day before, there will be an open gym at Westport Central School from 7 to 9 p.m. to allow players to sign in and teams to be selected.
On March 16, games start with the first men’s matchup at 1 p.m., with a halftime skills and drills show by current students in kindergarten through second grade. The second men’s game begins at 2:15 p.m., with biddy basketball players grades 3/4 playing at halftime and players in grades 5/6 playing between the second men’s game and the consolation game at 4 p.m. (for biddy players, there will be an open gym day Friday, March 15, from 3 to 5 p.m.).
The women’s championship game will be played at 5 p.m., with a halftime foul shooting competition for students in grades 7-9. The men’s championship game takes place at 6:15 p.m., with a halftime three-point competition for students in grades 10-12.
Those playing can register for $25, which includes a T-shirt and post-tournament event. Admission to the tournament is $4 for adults and $2 for students, with preschool free. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and quilt display throughout the games.
During the tournament, the Westport Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its annual Spaghetti Dinner in the cafeteria, starting at 5 p.m.
The basketball tournament is one of the two major fundraisers for the Tanneberger Memorial Scholarship, along with an annual golf tournament which will be played June 7-9 at the Westport Country Club.
“The golf tournament is not an alumni event, so there is a network of people who come to golf every year,” Schwoebel said. “We just started registering people for the event and spots can fill up quickly, so anyone interested can visit the fund’s website (tanneberger.org).”
Proceeds from the two events go to fund the Dr. Tom Tanneberger Memorial Scholarship, given annually at Westport Central.
“We have one recipient who received $500 for four years ($2,000 total) and an alternate who receives a $250 scholarship,” Schwoebel said. “The award is given to a graduating senior who exemplifies excellence in both athletics and academics.”
For more information on the basketball tournament and Tanneberger Memorial Scholarship, visit tanneberger.org or call 962-8567.