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COVID alters, but can't strike out baseball fundraiser

10-day online auction starts Sunday

A hunting trip through Archie Bradley's Crash Landing Outdoors is just one of the more than 30 items that are part of the Tiger baseball booster's online auction.

The cancelation of Broken Arrow baseball’s annual Wildlife Festival must feel like a rally-killing triple play or a called third strike for the final out of a big game to head coach Shannon Dobson.

First, the COVID-19 virus wiped out the 2020 season. Second, during winter break, Dobson landed in the hospital with COVID pneumonia. Now, and thirdly, the traditional mid-January fundraising dinner for the Tiger baseball booster club is the latest pandemic victim.

However, in late -inning, game-saving fashion Tiger baseball boosters managed a pinch-hit home run, and are refusing to allow the virus to no-hit the team’s largest fundraiser.

While a wild-game dinner served in the Broken Arrow High School cafeteria will not be part of the 2021 fundraiser, an online auction that begins Sunday will still provide funds to support Broken Arrow Tiger baseball.

“Our Baseball Booster Club has been working extremely hard to come up with a solution to continue our tradition of our annual Wildlife Festival and having an on-line auction allows us to keep moving forward to raise money for program and kid,” Dobson said. “By doing this it provides a safe way to continue our fundraising efforts and keep our community and alumni involved in the baseball program.”

The silent auction will be hosted at 32auctions.com. Login information will be made available through Broken Arrow Athletics and Tiger Baseball social media sites around noon on Sunday. The auction continues through Jan. 27.

A Lake Texoma guided fishing trip with lodging is one of the highlights of the auction. The list of more than 30 items also includes a one-night stay and round of golf for two at Shangri-La Resort on Grand Lake and a Broken Arrow High School Prom packet that is listed at nearly $800. Many of the baskets up for auction carry familiar themes like Hunting (donated by BA alums Archie Bradley and Mak Monkton’s Crash Landing Outdoors), Coffee Lovers, Golf Outings, Girls Night and a Set of Tires (valued at $950 and donated by Shamrock Tires).

Other companies who donated items include Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, Safari Joe’s, DBat, BA Med Spa, Tex’s Smoke & Chew, Glamour Gowns and More, Men’s Warehouse, Black Riffle Company, Arrow Flowers and Tulsa Firearms.

“The boosters have some great items for the auction and we’re looking forward to seeing how successful we can be doing it on-line,” Dobson said. “Hopefully, next year we can pick back up with the traditional festival.”

This would have been the 22nd year for the Wildlife Festival, which along with serving as a fundraiser also includes the recognition of a past baseball team. This year’s event was originally set to honor the 1991 and 2011 state championship teams on Friday. Dobson, anticipating a larger-than-usual crowd, schedule the fundraising dinner for the Varsity Training Center indoor practice facility instead of the BAHS cafeteria. Dobson has invited the teams back for the 2022 festival.