By Alan Sorensen
The Hill County Tavern Associations tailgate party prior to the MSU-Northern football teams first home conference opener in nearly 30 years was a surprising success.
Association members had targeted $1,000 as a realistic fund-raising goal for each of its five tailgate parties this year. Saturdays event, which had been moved from the SUB to the south gym entrance, drew nearly twice that amount.
Im guessing that by the time we get done with our 50/50 boards, well be pushing $1,800, association President Jupe Compton said this morning. I think the next one will be better.
The tavern association has committed 100 percent of its receipts to the fledgling football program. The association donated the Rocky Mountain hot dogs, hot beer sausages, sauerkraut and onions it grilled, plus all the buns, napkins and condiments. The local beer distributorships donated the beer.
The beer, sausages and dogs sold for $2 each. The association also had several 50/50 boards up throughout the week and at the party. The $125 boards have $62.50 payouts to both the winner and the team.
Waddell & Reed Inc. is donating a quality, a-one lettermans jacket to be awarded at raffle during the parties preceding each of the Lights home games.
Compton said the new location was actually an improvement over the SUB site.
It was better, Compton said. I think they did us a favor asking us to move.
Compton cited expanded parking and the proximity of the team as positive improvements.
Chancellor Mike Rao told the Daily News Friday that the move was suggested by college administrators Dr. Carol Green and William Lanier. He said their concern was that alcohol would be served in a high-traffic area for students at a time when the school is discouraging alcohol abuse.
Tailgate revelers had the opportunity to mingle with Northern gridders before the game and to cheer them as they headed for their buses to the stadium.
There was even a bus on hand to take tailgaters to the stadium, too.
The party, which began at about 11 a.m., was shut down at about 12:30 to give fans a chance to get to the stadium in time for the kickoff.
The four remaining tailgate parties are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sept. 18, Oct. 23, and Nov. 13.
The Sept. 23 game is Thursday afternoon.