JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 14, 2016) – Eighteen miles separate East Tennessee State University from Bristol Motor Speedway.
On Saturday morning, members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity will run that distance as they bring the game ball to the Last Great Colosseum for the “Bucs at Bristol” game.
The Sigma Phi Epsilon group – who are large supporters of Buccaneer football and ETSU athletics – are tying this initiative into its fall philanthropy project as they are raising funds for Second Tour's Jingle Bell Shop Hop. Saturday's run marks the start of their fundraising endeavor. The funds raised will go to helping veterans in need to help pay bills, afford shelter and buy Christmas gifts. Click here to donate.
During Wednesday's ETSU football practice, the Sigma Phi Epsilon group was given the game ball by head coach Carl Torbush.
“This is a great opportunity for Sigma Phi Epsilon – to not only run the ball to Bristol Motor Speedway – but the main part by raising money for military veterans,” said Coach Torbush. “These veterans have given so much to our country, and without their dedication and efforts, we wouldn’t be given the opportunities we have today. It’s also tremendously important that we have a relationship with Greek Life on our campus and vice versa. We need to support them and they need to support ETSU Athletics.”
Herb Donaldson – the alumni advisor for Sigma Phi Epsilon – was at practice on Wednesday and spoke about how this project came about.
“Our fraternity has been on campus since 1954, and as a result of that, we have a large and robust alumni group,” said Donaldson. “Quite a few of our alumni are military veterans – including five members being in the ROTC Hall of Fame here at ETSU. We have always been heavily involved in community service and philanthropy, but we wanted to get more involved in something that had local flavor to it and give back to the region. Since we have a large number of military in our alumni group, we started thinking in terms of a project to benefit the veterans. After reaching out to several groups we came in contact with Second Tour through our alumni. We met with them and learned they are a local non-profit – based here in the Tri-Cites – that exists solely for the purpose of helping struggling and homeless veterans in East Tennessee. There’s a real need to help veterans and we felt this fits with our mission and goals perfectly. Towards the end of last spring someone brought to our attention the Bucs at Bristol game, and we thought it would be neat to run the game ball from ETSU to Bristol Motor Speedway. We want to celebrate ETSU’s return to the Southern Conference, and there was no better time or way to do that, while calling attention to our philanthropy. We are excited to run the game ball to Bristol on Saturday and help raise funds for Second Tour.”
Fans can still purchase tickets for the “Bucs at Bristol” game by calling 423-BRISTOL or by clicking here. Fans are reminded that there will be no re-entry option once inside BMS on game day.
For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link.