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Big laughs for a good cause

Kurt Haakinson rides his donkey in for a shot at Saturday's fundraiser. He was playing for the business team. (Emily Myrin / Osakis Review) 1 / 5
Children received free donkey rides during intermission of the Dairyland Donkey Ball fundraiser at the Osakis High School. (Emily Myrin / Osakis Review)2 / 5
Logan Runge, a senior at Alexandria Area High School, smiles by his donkey at last Saturday's tournament while playing for the community team. (Emily Myrin / Osakis Review) 3 / 5
Rebbeca Macy, a sixth grade teacher and ninth grade girls basketball coach for Osakis, aims for the hoop at Saturday's donkey ball fundraiser. (Emily Myrin / Osakis Review) 4 / 5
Stacia Johansen, a paraprofessional and assistant girls basketball coach, takes a shot during the Dairyland Donkey Ball fundraiser for the Osakis First Responders. The teachers' team wound up winning the tournament. (Emily Myrin / Osakis Review)5 / 5

A donkey basketball game in Osakis Saturday, Jan. 27 provided fun entertainment for a good cause — the Osakis First Responders.

About 600 people came out to the Osakis High School for Dairyland Donkey Ball.

First, they watched two 16-minute elimination games. The first one featured local business people going up against local firefighters, emergency medical services personnel and law enforcement officers. Then, Osakis teachers then took on community members.

After that, the winners — the business people and the teachers — battled for the championship and the teachers prevailed.

During intermission, free donkey rides were provided to children 12 and younger. About 150 children took a ride.

As of Monday morning, organizers were crunching the numbers to see how much money was raised. First responder Jason Schultz estimated that the ticket sales from the event brought in just over $5,000.

All proceeds will go to various medical equipment, such as defibrillators and radios.

Those interested in joining the Osakis First Responders may contact Schultz at 320-491-8476 or email

While on the gym floor, donkeys wore non-marking and non-scuffing rubber shoes to protect flooring.

The emcees for the event were Kirsten Wessel and Randy Bergquist. Muriah Adolphsen sand the National Anthem. Members of the Close Up student group helped with ticket sales and "pooper scooper" duties.

Information about Dairyland Donkey Ball can be found at

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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