From the Sidelines: Fans must show their support

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Put your money where your mouth is. I happen to think this little saying is far more than just a clich/. As such, I&8217;m putting my money where my mouth is. More specifically, I&8217;m putting my money where my writing is.

I got ready to sit down and write a column to tell readers all the reasons they should want to take part in a unique fundraiser being held by the Demopolis Quarterback Club when I realized that I couldn&8217;t rightly tell you to do shell out some hard-earned money unless I were willing to shell out some of mine.

So, Wednesday, I wrote a check to the quarterback club in the amount of $100 for a ticket to next week&8217;s Spring Draw Down Dinner. Now, let me first debunk the notion that newspaper people are well compensated. I can assure you that the title of sports editor is infinitely more impressive than the salary. Having said that, I can now provide you a better understanding of where I&8217;m coming from when I urge you to put your money where your mouth is.

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Let me take a quick timeout to provide a refresher course on the draw down fundraiser. You buy a $100 ticket. All of your money will go to the Demopolis Quarterback Club and be used to outfit a football player, provide pre-game meals, help with transportation costs or fill any one of the countless needs and expenses, which accompany such programs. So what do you get for your money? Other than the satisfaction of helping (which we will cover more in depth later), you get two plates at next Thursday&8217;s dinner. But wait, there&8217;s more. Your ticket will be one of only 300 entered into a drawing, or a draw down. All 300 tickets will eventually be pulled from the lot. The first, 100th and 200th tickets taken from the pile will be worth $500. The 50th, 150th and 250th tickets out will give somebody $250. The final ticket out will give somebody $8,000. In addition, there will be door prizes and fun galore. So, now that you know what abstract things your $100 gets you, let&8217;s talk about that warm, fuzzy feeling of satisfaction.

When you make that $100 donation to the quarterback club, you&8217;re doing far more than buying a ticket to a dinner or even entering to win cash. You&8217;re making an investment. It&8217;s an investment that produces a return you may never fully comprehend.

The cost of outfitting one football player from head to toe is more than $1,000. That is roughly 10 draw down donations just to get one kid on the field. But the potential gain for that one kid is immeasurable. He will be afforded the opportunity to play a game that will teach him discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork. Moreover, he will get to play it for a coach, Tom Causey, who emphasizes character more than skill and winning off the field more than winning on it.

So yeah, I get the $100 is a lot of money. Believe me, I do. But I also get that $100 is not a lot to ask from people who care about the kids for whom they root on fall Friday evenings.

As of Wednesday morning, the club had a little more than 100 tickets left to move. So I urge you to skip a few times eating out, go in with a friend or do whatever you need to do to get your ticket and join me next Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center to support those kids who work so hard to represent their town so well. For more information on how to do your part, contact Kenny Freeman at 216-2699.

Jeremy D. Smith is sports editor at The Times.