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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari reached out to others to help with his basketball teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hoops for HaitiÃ¢â‚¬Â fundraiser and now he apparently is finding ways to repay those who helped him.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll speak at an Ashland Main Street fundraiser in Ashland Sept. 6 at the Ashland Plaza Hotel.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are very excited,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jim Purgerson. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Initially this got started when a couple of UK fans from the Ashland area got involved with the basketball teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s telethon. They are also big supporters of Ashland Main Street, a non-profit group that tries to revitalize downtown. They were able to secure a commitment from coach Calipari to come speak as part of a fundraiser for Ashland Main Street. All proceeds except the dinner costs go to fund Ashland Main Street. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a special, one-time fundraiser.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Purgerson is with Ashland Alliance.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are used to planning events and they asked us assist with logistics and reservations. We can give everyone a rundown on the cost,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
If interested in attending, call 606-324-5111 for ticket information. Seat reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis and seats at the head table with Calipari are $1,000 each. There are also 10-seat tables available in the main room as well as individual seats priced at $75 each in the adjoining area.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If we are sold out, we will have right around 500. But that is a big if,Ã¢â‚¬Â Purgerson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Right now most tables in what I call the prime area are for purchase only as a whole. We may open some seats on the perimeter for just individual tickets like we have in the outer area. We know a lot of people procrastinate until the last minute to buy tickets and that as we get closer to the event and UK plays in Canada, ticket sales likely will really pick up.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have some space limitations since we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a convention center site. We are going to do the best we can for everyone. I am sure it will be a John Calipari love-fest as it would be in virtually every region of Kentucky. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s scheduled to be here from 6:30-8:30.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Labor Day was one of the few free dates on CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s calendar, so Purgerson wants to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday event.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be Casual with Cal,Ã¢â‚¬Â Purgerson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you are coming back from the lake, beach or camping, just come in shorts and flip flops. That will be fine. The more casual, the better for coach Cal. We want this to be a comfortable event for everyone.Ã¢â‚¬Â