NEW PARIS – Typically, when a group of players from Ohio State, or a professional team, make a visit to one of the county’s schools it’s all about fund raising and entertaining.
The most recent visit had some of that, but the event also served as a chance for former members of Ohio State’s football team to deliver a message.
“It’s much more than just entertainment. We have a purpose to serve. A purpose to impact your children, your community, your youth and we’re so excited about our new partnership and our ability to come here today and just share with the guys and also, obviously, share with your kids and spend some time with the young people in this community,” said Roy Hall, former Ohio State wide receiver and co-founder of the Driven Foundation, who was a part of a daylong series of events at National Trail on Friday, March 4.
The Driven Community Outreach Day provided the National Trail community with a unique and exciting outreach and fundraising opportunity. Local businesses, organizations, and former Ohio State Buckeye Football players collaborated to impact students (kindergarten through 12th grade) and raise founds.
“Going into this event, I had a lot of anticipation of excitement for our kids and staff. I can tell you the day exceeded my expectations,” said Jeff Parker National Trail Superintendent. “Based on the reactions of kids that I saw, I believe the kids and staff had an awesome day. The messages delivered by these successful, high character men, who happened to play football at one time for the Ohio State Buckeyes, were more important than any standardized test these kids are going to take. They were real life messages from real, successful people. It wasn’t just feel good, pump up messages; they (the nine speakers) provided depth for the kids. They didn’t just talk about the ‘what’, they dug in to the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.”
The Community Outreach Day consisted of elementary school reading visits, middle school motivational assemblies, high school group discussions, a Breakfast with the Buckeyes morning event and a charity basketball game.
The daylong event ended with a community-wide BBQ and speech delivered by Hall.
“I am excited that we were able to have 250 community individuals and families enjoy camaraderie in our building during the BBQ,” Parker said. “It was just a neat atmosphere.”
According to Parker, the “Breakfast with the Buckeyes” gave community leaders a chance to hear what the district’s mission is regarding its kids.
“It gave them a chance to see and hear there is more than meets the eye with educating children than what some people may think,” Parker said.
Parker note the event organizers were please with the outcome.
“Finally, Pastor Ginter, Roy Hall and I are just thrilled that we are able to give back to the NT community through the half of our funds raised going to the two food banks (New Paris Community Food Bank and the Monroe Township at Ware’s Chapel Food Bank) This event is just a piece of what we are trying to do help students overcome learning obstacles and families get through a tough situation and hopefully break cycles,” Parker said.
Parker said there are many people to thank who made the event possible.
“There are a ton of people to thank for putting all this excitement together. We have formed a wonderful partnership with Pastor Jeff Ginter and the congregation of St. Paul United Methodist Church in New Paris and I cannot thank them enough for their partnership with this event,” He said. “I want to thank Dorothy Frist and her staff who put together all the food and worked tirelessly to make sure both meals went off without a hitch. Thank you to Eric Kennel and the FFA students for roasting the hog all day and night Thursday. The New Paris Chamber of Commerce, besides being a Scarlet level sponsor ($2,500) was a huge help in getting the word out throughout the community and businesses in the area. I am looking forward to our continued partnership with them as well.”
Other sponsors for the event included: Reid Hospital, Henny Penny Corp., Preble County Farm Bureau, Fraternal Order of Police, Edison State Community College, Jostens, St. Paul United Methodist Church in New Paris, Eaton Rotary Club, Dr. Allen Ferguson, Ware’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Pepsi, Horan Heath Management, Dr. Hewitt and Dr. Ross Friendly Dentistry, Lifetouch, and the National Trail School Foundation.