The second annual benefit pee-wee basketball tournament was held in Manila to help several families going through medical crisis. Last year the benefit was held for Jim Jones and family. This year the tournament was held for three Manila residents, Linda Tune, Gary Hill and Trenia Morris Eichorn . Games began on Monday night, Dec. 26 and went through Saturday, Dec. 31.
The sixth grade boys' basketball team, coached by Terry Carr, hosted the tournament and were well pleased with the great response from the surrounding towns.
Participating were 20 teams including: Sixth grade -- Manila, Greene County Tech, Brookland, Monette, EPC, Keiser, Marked Tree and Cooter; fifth grade -- Trumann, Keiser, Green County Tech, Wilson, Caraway and EPC; fourth grade -- Southside Jonesboro, Marked Tree, Valley View, Wilson, Monette, and Caraway.
A total of 32 games were played starting with eight games on Monday, five games on Tuesday through Friday and four on Saturday.
The tournament was double elimination and first, second, third and fourth place trophies were presented in each grade division.
"I can't say enough about the people who volunteered to help put on the tournament," Carr said. "We've had eight or ten volunteer to referee the games, we have people running the clock, keeping books, taking up money, working the concession stand, and supporting in different ways. We are also thankful to the school for allowing us to use the gymnasium. The tournament is a joint effort. It is a way for our community to come together and help families. We also appreciate all of the parents and fans who attended. All of these young players are winners. They are doing more than just playing basketball, they are helping families. I do appreciate the players, coaches and families for sharing part of their Christmas vacation to participate in the benefit tournament."
Tournament winners include:
4th grade -- fourth place, Caraway; third place, Southside-Jonesboro; second place, Valley View; first place, Wilson.
5th grade -- fourth place, Wilson; third place, EPC; second place, Trumann; first place, Green County Tech..
6th grade -- fourth place, EPC; third place Green County Tech; second place, Manila; first place, Brookland.
Throughout the week donations were taken for a half and half drawing that was held on Saturday. The winner, Michelle "Shorty" Martin, donated her prize back to the benefit tournament.