My name is Robert Dancliff, I am a board member for the Wyoming Storm Youth Basketball League. We are a not for profit organization. Recently we received a bill from the Laramie County School District #1 for over $3000.00 for gym usage.
Wyo Storm is, as I stated before, a not for profit organization. I am very disheartened that all of that money we raised thus far cannot go for tournament fees, travel costs, jersey’s, or equipment for the kids to use. Instead, all of that money has to go to the school district to which every member of our team has family that lives in Laramie county and pays taxes so the school district can stay open.
Our teams, (5 & 6th boys and girls, 7 & 8 Girls and High school girls) travel all over. For instance, we are loading up all four teams and heading to the park bench classic in Rapid City, SD.
We believe that by getting the kids out of their comfort zones, by not playing the same teams over and over again, the kids tend to push themselves harder than they normally would. The money we raise is used to offset travel costs and tournament fees, therefore making Storm a well rounded team with kids from all classes.
We would like to have tournaments like the Hardwood classic or the Salsa slam, here in Cheyenne, but the Beast foundation is too expensive (has dreadful parking) and the school district won’t allow us to use their gyms on weekends.
We have traveled as far as St. Louis, MO. Even there we were playing in school gyms. Why not here? Cheyenne has amazing talent. Why not have it shine on our own turf?
Last year at the very beginning of our winter season, Storm hosted a tournament. For the same reasons as listed above we had to hold our tournament in Laramie. We rented space at the Rec. center. They were more than welcoming to have us.
We had a great turnout for our first year. We would love to host it here in Cheyenne next year. We had kids drive for over 6 hrs to play in it. We were congratulated and thanked by many for putting it on. The only negative with the tournament was that it was not in our home town.
Our staff at Storm consists of 5 volunteer board members, two of which are also coaches. We have a total of 6 coaches on storm. All members of the community.
The program was started by Noah Teasley and Victoria Hall. Noah and Victoria both met when Victoria’s daughter Peyton Hall was on a YMCA team. Both Noah and Victoria were fed up with being on a team that was restricting the kids. They teamed up and started Storm.
Every year since Storm’s founding Victoria has purchased the backpacks and various other gear for the kids. None of the volunteers have ever asked for a dime. They just continue to give their time and money. It is people like them that make such a tremendous difference in these kids’ lives. They are the biggest reason I volunteered to help on the board.
I am sorely disappointed in LCSD#1 for charging teams like ours to use public facilities. Especially when I realized that they would just sit empty if it weren’t for teams like ours using them. It is my understanding that Storm is one of the only teams that has to pay to use the gymnasiums.
Robert Danclff, Cheyenne