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posted: 11/14/2012 8:03 AM

Shoot free throws, win turkeys at Lombard event

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In the old days, anyone who wanted a turkey for a Thanksgiving feast had to shoot for it, possibly even with a bow and arrow.

This fall, the Lombard Park District is bringing back the concept of shooting for a turkey -- but with a different type of shot, a basketball shot.

The first Turkey Shoot will challenge participants to shoot their best 10 free throws for the chance to win a Thanksgiving turkey. The contest gets started at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in the gym at Pleasant Lane Elementary School, 401 N. Main St., Lombard.

Shooters in five age groups will be challenged to attempt 10 free throws and make as many as possible. Whoever has the sharpest shot and the most makes in each group will be rewarded with a free bird just in time for the holiday meal.

While the Naperville Park District hosts a Turkey Shoot golf outing, Lombard chose to incorporate basketball into its new holiday event because the sport has a broad appeal and can easily be tailored for younger kids with smaller balls and lower hoops, said Derek Dvorak, a program manager with the Lombard Park District.

"It's the type of thing that's fun for all ages," Dvorak said about the basketball shooting contest. "It's the type of sport that's very easy to gear toward younger kids."

Free throw shooting will utilize all four of the gym's baskets at once, but park district employees will make a starting lineup announcement of each child before his or turn at the line.

"We'll announce all the kids one by one, just to give them their moment in the spotlight," Dvorak said.

Lombard residents can get their chance to shoot for $3, while the nonresident fee is $5. Families with more than three participants can join together for $10 if they live in Lombard, $15 if they don't. To register, visit lombardparks.org or call (630) 620-7322.

"It's basically something we want to appeal to families," Dvorak said. "A dad and a mom and a few kids can all participate."

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