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The 2020 Hoopfest Toyota Shootout will go on this year, and Gonzaga students will still have the opportunity to participate. 

Hoopfest’s Toyota Shootoff has been refined to follow COVID-19 guidelines with a new format that will narrow contestants through a raffle in order to have a safe, socially distant shootoff this November. 

The Toyota Shootoff is an annual Hoopfest fundraiser that has been held for over 20 years. Participants of a variety of ages compete in a multiple-round half-court basketball shootoff for the chance to win a new 2020 Toyota Camry. In past years, event participants would pay $10 for two shots in the shootoff event. 

The event typically has over 2,000 participants, all over the fundraiser’s age requirement of 18 years old. 

Connor Walsh, Hoopfest program and events director, said that the most prevalent age range within the participant demographic is 18-40 years old. College students also make up a significant portion of the participants.

Raffle tickets are $5 for one or $150 for 50. On Nov. 11, Hoopfest’s Facebook page @spokanehoopfest will have a live drawing to determine the 10 final participants. These participants will meet the Hoopfest team at the U.S Pavillion in Riverfront Park for the shootoff on Nov. 14.

Beyond the structural transformation of the event to a raffle form, the Hoopfest team has also altered the winning shot itself. 

“Instead of shooting a half-court shot in which we could have certainly done, we are going to be shooting from what is called the elevated experience inside the pavillion,” Walsh said. 

Although restructuring the event was in no way ideal, this opportunity has allowed for a new element of participant inclusivity. 

“I thought it would be fun to have this unique shot, and no one has ever shot it before,” Walsh said. “It actually makes it a lot more inclusive shot or more inclusive opportunity because you don’t have to have the strength that you need to shoot a half-court shot.”

Walsh said this new, refined shot is comparable to a free-throw shot. Being that participants be will close to 40 feet in the air when shooting in the Pavilion, gravity will take a significant role in the outcome of the shot. 

Although the current circumstances regarding COVID-19 strike great challenges to large gathering events and fundraisers such as the Toyota Shootoff, the Hoopfest team has taken the challenge with creativity and optimism.

“We are grateful that the Inland Northwest Toyota Dealers allowed us to keep the 2020 Camry and get creative with the raffle,” said Morgan Marum, Hoopfest director of corporate and media relations in an email. “Connor did some incredible work researching ways to navigate this season and we are proud of what we landed on. As a nonprofit we have worked around the clock to sustain our organization.”

A raffle ticket can be purchased  by visiting the Hoopfest website spokanehoopfest.net to complete the Toyota Shootoff downloadable raffle form. Once printed, the form can be either hand delivered or mailed to the Hoopfest office in downtown Spokane. If mail is the desired method of returning forms, mailing information is provided in the Hoopfest website. 

Ticket sales are open until Nov. 10, the day of the Facebook raffle livestream.  

“We hope the community gets behind us and purchases tickets so that Hoopfest 2021 and all of our other basketball programing can be a success,” Marum said. 

Follow Hoopfest on Facebook and Instagram @spokanehoopfest for Toyota Shootoff raffle updates.

Natalie Rieth is an arts & entertainment editor. Follow her on Twitter: @natalie_rieth.

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