Often tedious, but always essential, fundraising is one of the necessary evils of being a high school football coach.
That's why Valparaiso's Dave Coyle is thankful each day to have a quarterback club that takes much of that responsibility off his plate.
"No is not in their book. They want me to ask," Coyle said. "They always find a way to make things happen. We're blessed at Valpo. They do their best so our kids can have the best, but there's a limit. (The club allows) us to continue to go above and beyond. They do a super job not only in raising money but in their generosity in what they do for the kids. Sometimes, we forget how much they do. It's phenomenal."
For years, the club existed as part of the football program. Last season, the not-for-profit organization became a separate entity, with Coyle serving as an adviser.
"It's great to be able to give the kids the experiences I had," said Chris Sloan, the club's chairman for its Aug. 4 golf outing. "I didn't play football. I ran cross country and track, but I get the same feeling with the club. It's all about the kids. The decisions we make benefit the boys and, ultimately, it benefits the community."
The Valpo QB Club coordinates numerous fundraising endeavors, headline by a bowl-a-thon, which generated roughly $7,000, and the golf outing, a four-player scramble that raised $20,000 in 2011 and $17,000 last year. Money is used to pay for a variety of expenses and activities, notably the pregame fireworks and an end-of-the-year banquet held at Valparaiso University.
"There are things that just wouldn't get done, period," Sloan said.
Last season, the club also gave scholarships to three graduating seniors.
"We've raised a tremendous amount of money," Sloan said. "We ask them, what do you need? We'll have the money, and we're happy to give it to them. We've run into some trying economic times, but Valparaiso is a community, in good times or bad, that really gives of itself. I'm proud and thankful to be a part of it. We have a wonderful group of people who step up all the time."
Sloan got involved in the club three years ago when his stepson was part of the high school program. He'll take a break after this season and possibly jump back into it in a few years if his seventh-grader decides to play football.
"It's really been satisfying to see the kids come up from Pop Warner to now being on the field on Friday nights," Sloan said. "It's a tight-knit class, and you get the same feeling with the club. I've met a lot of great people and really enjoyed the time."