Valdosta Daily Times

April 25, 2014

Valdosta State hosts Bets & Birdies fundraiser

Jamie Wachter
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State is going all in on its fundraising efforts.

For the first time, the VSU athletic department is having one department-wide push in its Bets & Birdies event June 19-20, which includes a silent auction and casino night followed by a golf outing at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.

Previously, each sport at VSU held its own fundraising efforts. However Bets & Birdies will include coaches and players from the entire department working together to benefit all, and is hoping the dual-pronged focus of the fundraiser will appeal to the entire community.

That has created a stir within the department.

“We are very excited about our Bets & Birdies event,” Valdosta State athletic director Herb Reinhard said. “We have never done an athletic department-wide comprehensive fundraiser that support all our programs, so we will be most interested to see how the community responds to the Bets & Birdies event.”

So far, so good on that front, though.

“The response we have received so far has been extremely favorable,” Reinhard added.

A fundraiser involving a golf outing isn’t new to the Blazers, and the athletic department is excited to offer that option again for its supporters. The June 20 tournament will feature four-player teams with morning and afternoon tee times and registration available. The top three low gross and low total teams will be rewarded and there are also closest to the pin, long drive and hole-in-one prizes available.

“Most of our fundraisers have revolved around golf and while Bets & Birdies certainly has a great golf component, I am excited about the casino night and the opportunity it provides for a fun evening out for our supporters,” Reinhard said.

He isn’t alone in looking forward the June 19 casino night at the Student Union ballroom from 7-10 p.m., which will feature blackjack, money wheel, Texas Hold’Em, three-card poker, let-it-ride, craps, slot machines and more. Plus, the Valdosta State coaches will be utilized as celebrity dealers at the event.

“We’re really excited about this event, because the casino portion gives us the opportunity to do something a little different for the community,” Blazer football coach David Dean said. “We want to get everyone involved, and we feel like with the combination of both a golf day and a casino night, along with silent auctions that will feature items aimed toward both men and women, this is a great event that everyone in this community can jump in and be a part of.”

Tickets to the casino night are $50 for one, which includes $100 of funny money and two drink tickets, or $75 for two, $300 in funny money and four drink tickets. Casino night tickets are also available as part of the golf tournament packages, which range from $300 for one player to $1500 for a four-man team and eight tickets to the casino night. For more information regarding sponsorships, reservations or tickets, please contact Debi Frocks at 229-333-5844.

While hoping to provide a fun event for its supporters, the VSU athletic department knows that most important part of the fundraiser is its overall purpose - supporting the Blazers that take the field or court.

“We’re doing this for our student-athletes,” Dean said. “This event will help us raise money to provide our players across all our programs with the opportunity to travel well, to get top-notch equipment, to have proper uniforms, and to enjoy other benefits that we hope to provide for our student-athletes here at Valdosta State.”

Sounds like a winning hand.