Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 16, 2012

Donkey-ball benefits Bridges Outreach

By Lindsay Eckert
Kokomo Tribune

Kokomo — It was a packed house. Crowds were cheering and yelling. The stench of competition was in the air.

But, before you paint a picture of high school basketball in your head, you are going to need a whole new set of brushes. This game may have involved a basketball, but it also involved donkeys. And that stench of competition? Well, some of the stench was just the fragrance of tomorrow’s fertilizer.

It’s a biennial event that draws crowds out for a good cause — raising money for Bridges Outreach —  and an even better laugh as they watch principals, community leaders and teachers play basketball ... on a donkey.

But, before you get caught up in the ri-donk-culousness of it all. Meet the ladies behind the shovel who put some sass into their scooping: The pooper scoopers.

“They add in some fun doing a job no one else wants to do,” said Casey Cline co-founder of Bridges Outreach, a local organization designed to help students connect with their community and church.

“We volunteered [to scoop poop]. We’ve been living with our husbands for 20 years, so we’re pretty confident about moving B.S. around,” said Della Clouse, Kokomo High School librarian, with a laugh. “But, you can just refer to me as the library goddess [in the story].”

Connie Clark, Kokomo High School secretary, said the gals really put some pride in their poop-scooping duties and prefer to be addressed by their proper name. “We go by The Pooper Scooper Sisters,” she said with shovel in hand.

“You’ll find us on Broadway one day,” Clouse chimed in.

Although The Pooper Scooper Sisters may just be shoveling time until they get their big break, Becky McCoskey, the third fertilizer-loving female of the clan and a teacher at Kokomo High School, said she believes Bridges Outreach just might beat them to the big leagues, or at least she hopes.

“I really feel strongly about Bridges Outreach. I witness it daily at Kokomo High School and see how much it helps the kids,” McCoskey said. “It’s a program that works, and it’s growing. It could go nationwide. It’s that good.”

McCoskey said she’s not surprised Bridges Outreach has a bright future in front of it, but she said she did have a surprise or two, or three as one of The Pooper Scooper Sisters.

“It’s more poop than I expected, my husband has done it before and he didn’t even have to scoop much,” McCoskey said about the family affair in picking up future fertilizer.

But like any star with their sights on Broadway, The Pooper Scooper Sisters get a charge from entertaining an energized crowd.

“The energy is hot here!” McCoskey yelled over cheering fans rooting for their favorite four-legged player. “Everyone is really involved and laughing at everything that happens.”

And there was definitely a lot happening. One donkey/person duo faced a penalty: “Too much manhandling over there, no manhandling allowed!,” a ref — Yes, there were refs — yelled.

McCoskey said, donkeys, manhandling and The Pooper Scooper Sisters aside, the true visual of value is what the core of the event represents.

“There are principals, assistant principals, teachers, county people, city people and they’re all here playing [on the donkeys] for one common goal,” said McCoskey.