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home : insight & opinion : letters to the editor
June 20, 2019

5/7/2019 8:02:00 PM
Local sports foundation has big plans


We wanted to take this opportunity to get the word out about our foundation, since we have already been in the newspaper a couple times concerning our first large proposed project. Crossroads Sporting Events, or CSE Foundation, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization and are a fundraising entity organized to assist local youth athletic and academic programs with venues and/or events. We are 100 percent funded through our own fundraising efforts, grant writing, or charitable donations from businesses and individuals and not tied to any one school district, program, and/or team.

Our first large project is building an on-campus field for the softball team at Robinson High School. This is being pursued due to some logistical and possible safety issues while using the current City Park diamond/s but also to assist the City of Robinson by exiting their owned diamond/s, allowing a director to bring in 8/10/12U softball club/travel teams for weekend tournaments during the High School season and all the foot traffic those can create for area businesses as we saw this past weekend at Mack Thompson's very successful Youth Basketball tourney where 55 teams traveled to take part in it. Those people all need to eat somewhere, fuel up their vehicles, grab some snacks or drinks at Walmart, or shop anywhere within the city and county possibly even catching a movie, visiting our parks, etc.

The key question we routinely get asked is, "how much will this new project cost the taxpayers?" That answer is $0, and can even help turn one athletic program from a deficit for the school system to a revenue-adding one.

We are currently raising money to then have the field built and donated back to the school district since it is going on their property. The RHS Athletic Boosters recently built a very nice concession stand southeast of the football field. We agree with them to locate this proposed field directly South of this building which houses heated handicapped accessible bathrooms we could have open for the entirety of the school season and the option to then sell concessions to our home and visiting fan bases which then the booster club can distribute throughout all the athletic programs they already assist annually.

We feel this is a win for our high school club building a legacy foundation including alumni, current, and future players, it is a win for the School district as it adds value to their property at zero investment, it is a win for the City of Robinson opening the door to add more youth tournaments on their park diamonds while the High School team is not taking away practice or game time during the same Spring months.

CSE Foundation will have annual fundraising events including a bake sale in the spring, a golf scramble in the summer, and a prize bazinga each fall. Our first large project is the softball field project currently being discussed within the Robinson School Board. However, we are not tied to just RHS and want to help as many area athletes and students as we can.

We have also put into action bringing back an All Crawford County Sports Team using sports that all four county schools participate in and then a County Coach of the Year as well. The hope is to recognize 100 athletes and possibly invite them with guests and coaches to a luncheon to honor their accomplishment. This will include football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, softball, baseball, and boys' and girls' track and field. Letters are being sent soon to the local athletic directors for Robinson, Oblong, and Palestine, Hutsonville toward this event.

If any local business would like to help us co-sponsor this effort of recognizing these young student athletes and their families, please reach out to us.

Ideas have also ranged from finding co-sponsors to assist with holding an All-County Band/Chorus concert series; a Crawford County schools Scholastic Bowl, FBLA, Math, or Jets team competitions; and bringing in past professional athletes or role models to speak to and work with Crawford County youth building positive relationships and helping set life goals.

We also have plans to set up a scholarship in our foundation's name to assist sending a Crawford County athlete to college to continue their playing career and furthering their education. We also are in hopes this first large project is nice enough to garner attention that we are serious community partners and await hearing of more areas and programs we can assist with for the future. If anyone has an interest in being a positive force within their community and can assist being an extension there for our Foundation, please let us know.

The foundation has reached out to other area towns including Robinson, Oblong, Palestine, Hutsonville, and Lawrenceville toward participation as Advisory Council members. These members can be our eyes and ears and outreach into those towns. The hope is they can bring programs to our group that are in search and need of assistance or funding but to also link us to any willing donors that can further extend our helping hands.

We have nine voting members of a Board of Directors that meet almost monthly discussing their plans, budgets, and of course fundraising efforts. They are currently as follows: Justin Legg, Founder and Executive Director; Jake Baxter and Mark Brayfield, Vice Presidents; Amy White, Treasurer; Nikki Kelly, Secretary/Accounting; Tony/Charissa Smith and Clint Corder, Directors; Lonnie/Laura White, Public Affairs; Ben/Angie Beard, Fundraising. Then our Advisory Council memberships were offered to five or six individuals in each town listed before.

If anyone feels a passion to help local youth athletic and academic programs and are willing to assist us with fundraising efforts, please reach out to a Board member to make that connection. All of us look forward to working alongside many community members and leaders in helping provide and recognizing safe and healthy athletic and academic programs thru quality venues and events. Thank you very much for your time.

Justin Legg

CrossRoads Sporting Events Foundation

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