An unprecedented number of swishes raises thousands for local schools during ‘Shoot 4 Cash’ promotion

Crimson Cliffs High School "Shoot 4 Cash" contestant Tyler Leukenga holds check while surrounded by members of the CCHS drill team, for whom he raised $250. At left is announcer Colleen Rue, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 28, 2020 | File photo courtesy of Stephen Wade Auto Group, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — When shooters began trying their luck making half-court shots at halftime during the “Shoot 4 Cash” promotion four years ago, organizers hoped it could be a small way to give money to clubs, teams and organizations within the area’s high schools.

L-R: Dixie High School students Josh Barney, Bronson Barben and Josh Stewart pose with oversized checks presented by Stephen Wade public relations director Jamie Bahlmann (third from left in black shirt) representing the amounts they won during “Shoot 4 Cash” halftime promotion, St. George,Utah, Jan. 9, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Canyon Media, St. George News

This year, participants really came through, sinking more incredible shots than ever.

“We have had an unprecedented season with half-court shots made during these halftime shows,” said Jamie Bahlmann, public relations director for Stephen Wade Auto Center.

“Shoot 4 Cash,” sponsored by Canyon Media, Stephen Wade Auto Center and KSL Cars, allows participants a chance to put their basketball skills to the test and sink “as many as four progressively longer shots within a 30-second time limit.”

This season, a total of $7,300 was donated to area high schools through the promotion from events at nine basketball games – two games from each school, excepting Snow Canyon due to scheduling conflicts.

How it works

L-R: Crimson Cliffs “Shoot 4 Cash” contestants Caleb Atkinson, Ashton Mallory and Tyler Leukenga receive checks for designated CCHS clubs from announcer Colleen Rue (third from left), Washington City, Utah, Jan. 28, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Stephen Wade Auto Group, St. George News

To begin, a “Shoot 4 Cash” video is posted on each school’s Instagram account, where students have the opportunity to comment with the name of their organization. The top three organizations are chosen, and they select a shooter to represent them and take their shots at the money.

Shooters begin with a layup, which is worth $50, then a free throw worth $100, a 3-pointer from a third position for $250, and finish with a 45-foot shot from the half-court line for $500.

At the Jan. 30 promotion held at Pine View High School, two contestants walked away with the $500 prize, and Bahlmann said over the course of this year’s promotion, seven participants have made the half-court shot, for a total of $3,500.

Canyon Media announcer and sports guru Mark Musgrave joked that the competition might be getting too easy.

“We may have to have the shooters jump on one foot while shooting the basketball,” he said.

L-R: Pine View High “Shoot 4 Cash” contestants Gary Crowton, Izaiah Moten and Jace Lee receive a large ceremonial check from Jamie Bahlmann (third from left in black shirt) of Stephen Wade Auto Group. According to PVHS officials, the money they raised will be donated to Gavin Moon, a 4-year-old boy battling leukemia. St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Stephen Wade Auto Group, St. George News

Pine View’s assistant football coach Gary Crowton was the first contestant to win $500, making it look simple and not missing a single shot. Pine View football player Izaiah Moten missed one, but still hit the $500 shot. Student Jace Lee missed a few 3-pointers but sank one just as the buzzer sounded to earn $250.

That night was particularly special for everyone involved, said Bahlmann, because $1,250 went to Brad and Jenny Moon and their 4-year-old son Gavin, who is battling a rare type of leukemia.

“It has been so great building the relationships with the school administration as well as the students to give back to the teams that don’t always get large donations from a sponsor,” she said.

Eighty-five clubs participated this year by commenting on the Instagram posts, and 18 clubs benefited from the annual promotion.

Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this report.

Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.

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