The Cumberland County Elks Lodge has sponsored the Hoop Shoot basketball free throw competition for elementary school students age 8 to 13 for many years locally. Three local students have won district championships and are eligible to move on to the state finals in Franklin on Feb. 1.
State winners would move on to regional in March and then the national Hoop Shoot competition in April.
The program is a way to encourage students to be active and compete with their friends.
District winners from Cumberland County include Heath Wattenbarger, 8, who took first place and MVP in his age bracket. Jordan Barr,13, also took first place for his group.
First place and MVP recognition also went to Gracee Dishman. Dishman is a previous state champ and has attended the national Hoop Shoot event previously, as well placing third in her age bracket in 2010.
Kara Davis, 11, won a second-place trophy and Abbey Weaver, 9, took second place, while Hunter Wattenbarger, 11, competed at the district level, as well.
In addition to the cost of T-shirts and trophies, the Elks Club provides gas for travel to district competition and PE equipment to participating elementary schools.
To help raise additional funds to defray the expenses of the competition, the Elks are sponsoring a concert by Robert Keever, an Elvis impersonator who performs at the Country Tonight Theater in Pigeon Forge.
Keever will be in concert at the historic Palace Theatre, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for 12 and under. Tickets are available now and can be purchased on line at the Palace Theatre’s website, http://www.palacetheatre-crossville.com, or at the Palace during their operating hours.