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3-on-3 tournament celebrates 20 years

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 20th annual The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament was held Saturday, March 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

When The Place To Go 3-on-3 basketball tournament began, there were only 10 teams and 10 sponsors.

After a couple years, the fund-raiser for the after school program started to see some growth. And now 20 years later, it has become one of the staples for basketball enthusiasts in the area.

“It was very low key that first year,” said director Wendy Boxer. “So we just went with it and let it grow.”

But while the tournament is centered around a weekend filled with basketball, it is about so much more than wins and losses. As the largest fund-raiser for the free after school program for children in grades 3-8, the money generated from the event is a big reason why the program is still around today.

It is truly a win-win for everybody.

“It has become much more of a family event,” said Boxer. “There are definitely some kids and families that have played pretty consistently.”

The weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the tournament and there is no signs of it slowing down — which in turn means the program will also be around for the foreseeable future. The tournament, which generated close to $10,000 this year, helps pay for things like employee salaries, rent, electricity and snacks for the children.

“We are one of the few free after school programs in the state,” said Boxer. “I’m not sure without it we would survive.”

And since there is no state aid involved with the program or fees for children to attend, any amount of money helps allow for the doors to stay open.

It began as a summer program, but has spent the better part of the last two decades as a structured after school program. It is based in the basement of the Monadnock Country Club and runs three days a week and while it is open to all children, currently there are just Peterborough children involved mainly due to transportation.

The money raised this year is an all-time high for the tournament and Boxer hopes the trend continues. The last few years have topped out around $8,000 — a big jump from the $900 generated in the first year.

Of the 10 original sponsors, five continue to give today and have each year for the life of the tournament. The total number of sponsors grew to 44 this year, an all-time high.

“We rely completely on donations,” said Boxer

The number of teams peaked at 60 in one of the early years and while this year did not quite reach that total, Boxer was happy to see an increase from last year to 53 in the six divisions.

“We’ve never even come close that year of 60 until now,” said Boxer.

When this all began 20 years ago, it came about from a simple visit to the Peterborough Recreation Department. Boxer went to speak with former recreation director Beaver Jutras about a possible fund-raiser that would include kids.

The department had started a 3-on-3 tournament during the summer, but it had not really caught on. So Boxer took the idea and the rest is history.

“We were just talking about ways to try and raise money for the program,” said Boxer. “I thought if we could do this for 10 years it would be good.”

But it hasn’t come without a lot of people chipping in. Referees donate their time, as do volunteers who help with concessions and score keeping. It truly is a community event like no other.

And let’s hope it continues for another 20 years because that would likely mean that area children will continue to have a great after school program to go to.

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