The final day of the food drive to benefit the Clark County Food Bank will be Aug. 26
The Clark County Youth Football Food Drive is under new management with the promise to get back to some older traditions.
All with the priority to help Clark County families in need.
“We have been team moms together for almost seven years. Every year we’ve done (the food drive), we’ve really pushed our team to not only donate and want to be on top, but to donate for a reason,” said Samantha Rupp, one of four women who are organizing the drive these days, representing the Evergreen Plainsmen Foundation.
“We’ve always pushed that this is helping our community,” Rupp said. “Look to your left, look to your right, somebody on our team might have to use the food bank. What we do really does matter.”
Rupp, along with Brittney Allen, Christina Chappell, and Angie Waudby all have sons who are freshmen at Evergreen High School, playing football for the Plainsmen. Two of the moms have younger children still playing in CCYF.
The food drive has always been part of the beginning of their football seasons.
“I think it’s really important for kids to realize there are other kids who don’t have food at home,” Waudby said.
“It’s a good life lesson for the kids,” Allen said. “We’re trying to teach them to give to others.”
The CCYF Food Drive started in 2010 by an eighth-grader named Nolan Henry. He was instrumental in building the event into one of the biggest food drives in the region. In fact, he earned national recognition when he was named the Wendy’s High School Heisman winner when he was a senior at Union High School. The award recognizes outstanding seniors who excel in athletics and community leadership.
Through the years, other students took over the drive, which has seen changes. Things got particularly more challenging during the pandemic. Last year, for example, prizes went to the top teams, the squads that collected the most food. In the past, there were a lot more prizes, to highlight more teams throughout CCYF.
The Evergreen moms have been working hard to return the drive to its more traditional roots, hoping to get the players more pumped up to seek donations.
“This year, it was really important for us when we took it over, we wanted to get it back to what it was,” Chappell said. “Prizes. Raffles. More than just to the top teams. Back to fun, something they could look forward to and talk about and stuff like that.”
So the moms sent emails. They walked into local businesses to tell them who they were and what they were all about — helping children help other children through a food drive.
Chappell said the goal was to eventually get back to a lot of prizes for the raffles. Well, ‘eventually’ turned out to be right now. For this year. Because so many businesses jumped in to help the cause.
“I’ve seen a huge community just brought together,” Chappell said.
The food drive is going on right now. Athletes from all Clark County Youth Football teams are going around their neighborhoods, seeking donations. The grand finale will be Aug. 26, at the CCYF Jamboree in Washougal. That is when all food that has been donated will be weighed, collected, and put in the trailer of a semi truck to be delivered to the Clark County Food Bank.
All four moms said Clark County Youth Football has meant so much to their families that they were called to help out even more. Two of the moms, in fact, do not have sons in CCYF anymore. Still, they serve.
Their efforts have impressed Terry Hyde, a co-founder and president of CCYF.
“Our motto, ‘The best game in town’ is not only about football,” Hyde said. “It’s about being positive members in the community.”
The Clark County Youth Football Food Drive is still going strong, and thanks to the efforts of four moms from Evergreen, the drive has a promising future, too.
“We’re going to get it bigger and bigger and bigger every year, and we’re not going to let it go,” Waudby said.
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