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Next month's Southeast Tournament will bring hundreds of basketball players, cheerleaders, dance team members and pep band performers to Juneau - and they all need a place to stay.
Tourney organizers are working to find volunteer hosts for students from across Southeast who will be in Juneau to play or perform from March 16-19. Housing visiting teams is a decades-old tradition in Southeast, and it can provide rewards for guests and hosts.
"Housing is a really good opportunity. It allows people, especially from the smaller towns, to see a bigger place and how other families live," said Juneau senior basketball player Mary Rehfeld, who is coordinating tournament housing. "From my experience (hosting other students), with a lot of these kids we've become good friends and stay in touch. We learn about their families, and they learn about ours. ...
"These kids are amazing - good athletes, great musicians. ... I have so many friends in Southeast, thanks to housing."
Rehfeld said she still needs to find temporary homes for about 350 students. Host families need to have a good place for students to roll out their sleeping bags, and usually provide transportation to the school each morning - though other arrangements can be made. Many hosts also provide breakfast for their guests.
Those interested in hosting students can contact Rehfeld at 321-3543. JDHS students whose families want to host students can also speak with Rehfeld at school.
The Southeast Tournament, last held in Juneau in 2002, rotates between Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka each year. It includes students from Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines, Mount Edgecumbe, Petersburg, Wrangell, Craig and Metlakatla.
Region tourney organizers seek volunteers for housing