Ironton Shootout to benefit Bibb transplant fund

Published 12:58 am Sunday, January 16, 2011


Tribune Sports Editor

On the surface they’re assembling to play basketball. In truth, they’re coming together for a much greater cause.

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The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Basketball Shootout will be held all day Monday as local junior varsity, freshmen and the Ironton girls’ varsity are scheduled to play games. But the shootout will be part of a benefit to collect money for Ironton High School student Bethan Bibb.

Bibb is in need of a double lung transplant, an operation that often exceeds $500,000 and leaves many patients unable to meet the financial burden.

“Initially, this was put together because so many reserve teams lose games because the varsity plays in shootouts,” said Ironton coach and athletic director Mark LaFon.

“With this in mind, we wanted to tie it in with something else. I went to the (benefit fund committee) and asked if they wanted to make this a joint venture.”

The Bibb family estimates their out-of-pocket expenses are approximately $35,000. To date, the Ironton community has raised $17,000 toward meeting Bibb’s financial needs.

Monday’s schedule at the Ironton Sports Center will begin with the Rock Hill and Portsmouth jayvee girls playing at 12:50 p.m.

The Chesapeake and South Point jayvees play at 2 p.m. followed by the Ironton and Fairland freshman boys’ teams at 3:30 p.m. The Ironton boys’ jayvees will then play the Fairland jayvees at 5 p.m.

The final two games on the schedule have the Ironton and Boyd County Lady Lions reserve teams playing at 6:30 followed by the varsity game.

Donations will be taken throughout the shootout and additional contributions can be made at any PNC Bank branch location, or contact campaign coordinator Belinda Brown at 533-0278 or

The Bibb family has asked for assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) that is a national charity based in Bloomington, Ind.

COTA’s services are completely free of charge and 100 percent of funds generated by COTA community fundraising campaigns are available for transplant-related expenses.