10,000 tennis balls
I am sitting out on my patio on a beautiful end of Summer day, and I still cannot stop thinking about an assignment last week for The Enterprise Newspapers. Sno King Youth Club held a fundraiser where residents and businesses could buy tennis balls for a $5 donation, ultimately raising $50,00 and selling around 10,000 tennis balls. T.E. Briggs construction used a dumptruck to send the 10,000 balls down a hill and into a jerry-rigged collection barrier near the bottom. Owners of the 35 balls to make it down the hill first won cash prizes.
When I got this assignment I immediately thought of putting a remote camera, low, and with a wide angle lens, near the area where the balls were to be dropped. I spoke with an organizer who told me no one would be allowed in the areas around the dump truck. I would have put a camera in the area where the public could go, but the amount of kids running through there had me concerned. I just did my best to work the novelty of this event and how fun it was for the community.
But before I could shoot this, I had to get up the hill. A big hill. People arrived by….
…car, such was the case for the organizers from Sno King Youth Club, who escorted a few newly-purchased
tennis balls via pickup truck.
Most people walked…while some skipped…
…and others road bikes. But the anticipation and exercise were worth it.
A crowd quickly formed around a barrier created at the end of the course. There ended up being a 20min
delay while police closed off parts of Main St., allowing me to think about some angles.
It also allowed a few budding announcers to practice their best tennis ball innuendo. And with kids in the crowd…
Jim Beirnes from Sno King Youth Club holds up a tennis ball that was test to go down a collection
chute at the barrier.
Kids and parents scrambled for the best position, and then waited another minute. “Dump them, dump them!”, shouted the crowd.
Get ready for it..
Here come the balls.
Some people stood around while tennis balls collected at their feet. Others took a more proactive approach.
This young fellow took it upon himself to make his own barrier.
Climbing into the fray. Young kids piled on top of the collection of tennis balls at the barrier’s edge.
Some people threw the balls, much to the chagrin of the organizers.
Counting the first balls to come down the hill.
Jim Beirnes carries a bag of winning tennis balls down Main St. following the Running of the Balls 2008.
I am still kicking myself though for not getting a wide angle into the mix during the ball dumping. That would have been cool. Next year?