For the first time, the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club will co-sponsor the traditional high school basketball tournament and provide assistance to help keep the annual event running smoothly.
“Our goal in becoming a partner with the Rome News-Tribune is to continue the steep tradition of the tournament and to direct the proceeds as financial support to all high schools and colleges in Rome and Floyd County and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Georgia,” Seven Hills Rotary President Bill Byars said.
As part of its mission to support primarily youth and literacy-based community projects, the civic group will work to obtain sponsorships from local businesses and individuals in order to increase the tournament’s net proceeds.
“We are excited to be forming this partnership with the Seven Hills Rotary Club,” said RN-T Sports Editor David Dawson. “I think this is a situation that will be win-win for both of us — the newspaper and the Rotary Club.”
Dawson and organizers assure fans that nothing about the tournament’s format will change and that the Holiday Festival will continue to provide a familiar place for friends and families to gather and cheer on their favorite players and teams.
All of the teams will be fighting for possession of the coveted Gold Ball championship trophies.
“We commend the Rome News-Tribune and the many volunteers for the tremendous success of the Holiday Festival tournament spanning over five decades,” Byars said. “We pledge the support or our members to continue the tradition of excellence in athletics and great sportsmanship in pursuit of the Gold Ball.”
This year’s tournament will once again take place at both Georgia Highlands College’s gymnasium and Berry College’s Cage Center. Games will begin on Dec. 17 and continue for five straight days.
Both the boys’ and girls’ championship games will take place at the Cage Center on Friday, Dec. 21.