Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Baker County Tournaments signed a new four-year contract with the District 7-1A Old Oregon League Thursday to hold the district boys and girls basketball tournaments at Baker High School through the 2017-18 season.

"This is the first time we've been able to work a contract for more than two years," said Dale Curtis, Baker County Tournaments chairman.

Curtis, and vice chair Colleen Taylor, said the new district contract stands even though the Old Oregon League will undergo an OSAA realignment.

Current OOL members Imbler and Cove will move up to Class 2A. Nixyaawii, Echo and Helix will join the Old Oregon League from the Big Sky Conference.

Baker County Tournaments, which started in 2012, has a five-member board: Curtis, chairman; Taylor, vice chairman; Ann Kniesel, treasurer; Kathy Taylor, secretary; and Scott Martin, accountant.

Curtis said the group has its own bylaws and articles of operation.

"It's been a two-year process to get to 501.c3," he said at last year's tournament.

Taylor said the group receives some monies from the Baker Transient Room Tax.

"They are so supportive," she said.

Taylor said she reports to the committee twice a year - once to request grant money and once to file a report of that year's income and expenses.

The pair estimates that it takes about $18,000 annually to put on both tournaments.

Both Curtis and Taylor acknowledge the people behind the scenes who work for the success of putting on the tournaments.

"We couldn't have the successful tournaments we have without the staf we have," Curtis said. "It couldn't happen without them."

"It's a big partnership," Taylor said.

"The Baker community is so supportive. It's a partnership between us, the community, Baker 5J School District, the OSAA, Community Bank, the service clubs and all the volunteers."

Community Bank is in its sixth year as the district tournaments' major sponsor.

Baker County Tournaments also is working to help in the remodeling of the Baker High School gymnasium.

Martin said private individuals may make tax-deductible donations for the project through Baker County Tournaments.

"They just make the check out to Baker County Tournaments and at the end of the year we make out a check to Baker High School for the total donations," Martin said.

If people have questions they can contact Martin at Guyer, Lindley, Bailey and Martin.