Help arrives from the most unexpected sourcesRivals, community and fans outside the state help Waynesville Youth Football and Cheerleading stay in the game
The Waynesville Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization has not found its football equipment and utility trailer that was stolen from the grounds of Jonathan Valley Elementary six days ago.
But they have found help from the most unexpected sources.
The first call coaching coordinator and volunteer Mark McCracken got on Monday was from arch-rival football coach Brett Chappell from Pisgah High School. Then what followed simply shocked McCracken.
“You have to understand that three generations of McCrackens, my daddy, me and my son Houston, played and graduated from Tuscola,” said McCracken. “So to say I was shocked and humbled at the same time when I received the first call to help from Pisgah head football coach Brett Chappell is an understatement.
“Then shortly after Chappell’s phone call, our kids biggest rivals, Canton and Bethel youth programs, called to offer their help with loaning us equipment so our players can go through the 7-on-7 season this spring. This support from across the county is truly amazing and coach Chappell is truly a class act.”
McCracken has also received so many calls from people who want to give the program money to buy equipment. And the calls are not just from the good folks from Haywood County.
“I’ve received calls from people who read the story in The Mountaineer newspaper or its online version from Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia,” said McCracken. “All they want to know is who do they make the checks out to and what is the address to mail the checks.
“But 90 percent of the calls are from the good folks in Haywood County and 90 percent of those folks are from our kids’ cross county rivals, the incredible folks in Canton and Bethel. I consider myself a strong man but when you get this kind of support from the people who are your rivals in everything, I get emotional.”
Thanks to the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce, all the local grocery stores and Dave and Sue Angel, the owners of Elevated Mountain Distillery in Maggie Valley, the Waynesville Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization will have a benefit to raise money for uniforms and equipment on Saturday, March 25.
“The benefit will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Elevated Mountain Distillery in Maggie Valley on Saturday, March 25 and we will be selling bar-b-que plates for $10 each,” said McCracken. “The distillery is located at 3732 Soco Road. We also will have a silent auction and the Angels will provide a free tour of their operations for just this one day.
“In addition to Coach Chappell and the wonderful folks in Canton and Bethel, so many other people, businesses and organizations in the community have helped us through this crisis. The Maggie Valley Police Department, the Haywood County Sheriffs Department, the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Angels of Elevated Mountain Distillery, ‘Bull’ our Riddell representative who operates out of Jefferson City, Tennessee, Bill McClement and Pat Ryan, the guys on the Asheville-based ESPN Radio’s Wise Guys Show, WNC Carry Firearms in Clyde and so many others who I don’t even know who have sent us or given us money.
“I had a lady call me from Cherokee and donated a grill to our program. We’ve also started a GoFundMe page and that’s doing well. With all this support, we are going to be just fine and our boys, boys from Waynesville, will get to play the wonderful game of football. And they will have cheerleaders and fans in the stands cheering them on.”
Another local business stepping up to help in a huge way is Chick-fil-A of Waynesville.
On Tuesday, March 28, from 4 to 8 p.m., 10 percent of all sales, drive thru and inside, will be donated to the Waynesville Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization.
If any person wants to contribute to helping with the purchase of equipment and uniforms, address and mail checks to: The Waynesville Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization, P.O. Box 225, Waynesville, North Carolina 28786.