SEE3SLAM creates community fun while raising money for cataract surgeries

RICHLAND, Wash. — The SEE3SLAM basketball tournament is coming back for its fifth year in Richland at John Dam Plaza on July 9 and 10.

The 3-on-3 tournament is for all ages, as young as school grade entering in September 2022.

Registration for the event is open until June 30 at midnight. The registration fee is $140 per team until June 24, and $165 per team from June 25 to 30.

Tri-City Sunrise Rotary is partnering with the City of Richland to make this event happen.

According to the SEE3SLAM website, there will be food, entertainment, exhibition games, clinics and a contest including the new ‘Tri•CU $1000 Cool Cash Splash.’

This event is a fundraiser for ‘Gifting the Gift of Sight,’ in which a local eye surgeon, Dr. Guzek, leads a team of people every year to Ethiopia to perform cataract surgery.

Fundraising

“We have a gentleman that goes overseas every year, to Africa, to remove the cataracts off of the people who live in Ethiopia,” said Terry Fleischman, the event director. “For whatever reason, that population gets an affliction that affects their eyesight, and they get a series of cataracts.”

According to Fleischman, Dr. Guzek has performed cataract surgery on upwards of about 25,000 people since 2007, and this is why the event is called ‘SEE3SLAM.’

“If you look at the ball very closely, there’s an eyeball right in the middle of it, and that’s the reasoning behind it; it has to do with the ability to see,” said Fleischman.

Dr. Guzek will be at the event, she said.

“The athletes who show up to register—their money goes directly towards giving these people back their eyesight. And so every $50 that they pay of their registration fee goes towards giving these people back their eyesight,” said Fleischman. “If someone pays $150 on their registration fee, they’ve just given three people eyesight, because it’s only $50 a surgery.”

Volunteers

The organization is looking for volunteers to help make this event possible. Specifically, they’re looking for volunteers who can help set up, and keep score during the tournaments.

“We’re going to need people who know the game, and ideally people who are familiar with basketball, perhaps maybe who have played before, or at least people who would know how to keep records,” said Fleischman. “We can train them.”

There’s a volunteer section on the website.

Fleischman said, “We had 270 teams registered in 2019, and we just opened registration on June 1st. It will close at the end of the month, and we’re hoping to reach that same mark.”

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