Southern Utah community members participate in basketball fundraiser for feeding center in Ethiopia

In this file photo from 2019, Southern Utah community members participate in a basketball shooting contest for a Korah Kids fundraiser in St. George, Utah, May 18, 2019 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A mix of basketball enthusiasts and those just wanting to give back to the community gathered this weekend to support a St. George humanitarian nonprofit.

Southern Utah community members look at signed sports memorabilia during a basketball tournament fundraiser for Korah Kids in St. George, Utah, May 18, 2019 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

Korah Kids, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of those living in Korah, Ethiopia, held its largest fundraising event Saturday at the Nets on Fire facility in St. George. The fundraiser consisted of a basketball tournament sponsored by Nets on Fire, where teams competed in 3-point shooting, free throws and spot shooting.

“I love the opportunity for people in our community to come together like this for a cause,” said Darci Burke, founder of Korah Kids — formerly known as Pink Shoes.

More than 20 teams participated in the 3-0n-3 basketball tournament. Besides the $100 registration fee for a team to participate, funds from a silent auction featuring signed sports memorabilia went to Korah Kids. Among the autographed items were a Kevin Durrant basketball jersey, a James Harden Rockets jersey, Dwayne Wade shoes, a basketball signed by Jimmer Fredette and more.

Burke said these funds will be used to support a feeding center that the organization recently built in Korah, an area in sub-Saharan referred to as a “trash dump community” that’s home to more than 200,000 people.

“We were there, and we found out that the kids were fainting at this school because they were so hungry,” Burke said, referring to Baslios, a government-run school that hundreds of kids from the trash dump community attend.

She said it costs $30 a month to feed one child one meal per day, and the center can feed up to 50 kids a day.

Besides feeding kids, the organization has also been able to provide clothes, shoes, mattresses and medical assistance to those living in Korah.

Burke said the organization was able to obtain a little more than $5,000 from Saturday’s event, which she’s excited to use toward the feeding center during the organization’s next trip on June 18.

For more information on the organization, visit the Korah Kids website.

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Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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