PUBLISHED: 4:50 PM on Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Juneau Lions Club Invitational Gold Medal Tourney eliminates women's, intermediate brackets for 2008
The Juneau Lions Club announced today significant changes approved by the Board of Directors to the 62nd Annual invitational Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, which is slated for March 16-22, 2008. The women's bracket started in the year 2000, and the intermediate bracket started in 2005 will be eliminated, based on a lack of fan attendance at previous games, and the need to reduce the total the number of games played to a more manageable level. The popular B bracket will be expanded and the new Master's bracket will be extended for this coming tournament.

"For 62 years, the essential reason for this invitational tournament is to raise funds for youth scholarships throughout Southeast Alaska and contributions to organizations that serve Juneau and southeast communities," Juneau Lions Club President Ted Burke said. "The fans turn out in large numbers to see the B and C bracket games, and that enables us to raise the funds we use to help our communities. On the other hand, the women's and intermediate games did not have a big draw."

The 2007 Gold Medal Tourney featured 5 divisions, with over 48 games over a 7-day period. "Hosting that number of games and brackets was a huge challenge to our Club and our tremendous volunteers," Burke said. "It increased the demand of hours for all workers, reduced available free time for our out of town visitors, and it increased our overall operating costs. Bottom line -- by simplifying the tournament, we should be able to distribute more funds to the youth, communities and organizations we serve."

"We serve - that's the Lions motto," Burke said. "We need more volunteers and welcome new potential Lions Club members to help us with this great tourney."

He said details are still being worked out for the increased number of teams in the B, C and Master's brackets. "Letters of interest for the 2008 tournament will be sent by Co-Chairs Lions Ed Hotch and Steve Bradner shortly."