Last Wednesday, July 20, was a great day for Marietta High School.
In fact, the better way to describe that day and the following day is by using the old phrase "What A Difference A Day Makes."
The story goes something like the following. Following the football team's early morning conditioning and weight lifting session, MHS athletes' Justin Futrell, Mitchel Gearhart, Dustin "Deeder" Baker and Tanner Leach informed me that the new weight room was "first class." But each suggested that this great facility needed to also have several sets of rubber coated-safety weights. The foursome then went on the tell me that "they could raise the $2,800-plus that was needed to purchase them.
That very day, the cash raising journey started. And what was simply heart stopping is the fact that the effort was not only well received it was met with enough money to pay for the new weights.
Futrell and Baker teamed up together while Leach and Gearhart took on a different part of the town. By the end of the first day, these MHS football players had raised $2,100 and by the close of the day on Thursday their new fund raising effort had brought in $2,875 and just enough to purchase the new weight system.
In my eyes, this entire weight room project has been a memorable time. It started almost three months ago with support, direction and encouragement from John Lehman, Allen Love and another highly supportive family in town joined the Lehmans with wonderful financial gifts.
Peoples Bank stood tall with a wonderful gift, bringing the total to over $30,000. Then, came the classy effort on the athletes' part. But more so the community effort that made the theme of "What a difference a Day Makes" ring true.
Gearhart said, "We asked folks for $5 or $10, and they gave us what they could afford."
Futrell talks about "cornering retired executive-now substitute teacher Jim Waybright at the Peoples Bank cash machine" and walking away with a handful of $20 bills for the effort. Many thanks to Jim Waybright.
As the day closed on Thursday, the four athletes and I heard from two other townsfolks. One was giving $1,000 for the weight room while another donated $1,500 to the project. At this pace, we'll get the totally private-money funded project paid for by mid-August. And, it wasn't only private money that has made the difference. About 30 Marietta Community members scrubbed walls, painted walls, tore up old flooring and removed old weight room equipment.
But this article isn't just about the new weight room. It is about a Marietta Community and the Marietta Touchdown Club which stepped up to help, and about four young athletes whose only goal was to make something better.
I like the "sweat equity" the athletes put into the project. I am also proud the town folks, both those who scubbed, painted and worked along with those who gave so generously.
Yea, "What a difference a Day Made."
Bob Springer is the Marietta High head football coach.