The Junior Fellows are once again bringing Republicans and Democrats together to play football, while also raising money for local causes. After six years of hosting the Charity Football Game, the players haven’t gotten a lot better at football, but they have raised significant funds for the Huntsville YMCA and the John Holcombe Scholarship Fund.
This year, the Democrats and Republicans Charity Football Game will take place at high noon today, Saturday, May 4 on upper Pritchett Field.
“We’re continuing the tradition,” noted Junior Fellow Jessica Rodriguez, who is also an officer in the Bearkat Democrats. “We’re bringing more community people in to play this year, but the focus on bringing people together to support local causes continues.”
This year the community is represented by eleven players drawn from various aspects of the community. Employees from Sam Houston State University, the City of Huntsville, the Walker County District Attorney’s Office, the YMCA, Huntsville Memorial Hospital, Vista Academy of Willis, Congressman Kevin Brady, and the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Students from SHSU and Huntsville ISD will also be participating.
In addition to representing various community groups, the football roster also includes players of divergent ages. Ryan Brim, for example, first participated in the game in 2008, helping as an eight-year old volunteer. Today, as a fourteen-year-old, he’ll actually play. Brim, a self-described “mathlete,” is mild mannered by day….
But when football rolls around, Brim’s alter-ego emerges…
College students such as Matt Miori and Cameron Goodman will be on hand, along with more of the young-at-heart types: Everett Harrell, Joshua Busa, Kyle DuFour, Russell Martinez, Megan Buro, Mike Yawn, Aron Kulhavy, and Margaret Gulledge.
For Gulledge, it is her first foray into the football world, at least as a player. “Once we pointed out the basic rules of the game, such as which direction to run, she picked it up pretty fast,” added Yawn, “—plus, she’s really good at bringing people together.”
“Some of us vote Democratic and some vote Republican,” added Gulledge, “but for the last couple of months we’ve put that aside and worked together for a common cause.”
In all, this year’s fundraiser has netted about $5,000, with the players donating the first $1,550. Over the six years the Junior Fellows have hosted the fundraiser, the event has raised some $21,000. “We’d like to thank our sponsors and both the parties,” said Yawn. “Their donations will go to worthy causes, and many of these sponsors are also helping with the game. We are very appreciative.”
“This is a fun event,” noted Gulledge…
“but our goal is to make things better for the younger people in the community, through scholarships at the YMCA and SHSU.”
Things should also be fun for the youngsters who attend the Charity Football Game. Halftime events include the always-entertaining YMCA Dance, an egg toss, sack races, and wheelbarrow races.
Gift certificates from 5 Loaves Deli will also be given to the winners of the half-time games.
The game begins at noon today on the upper Pritchett Field. It is free and open to the public. For more information contact Mike Yawn at 936-294-1456.