Annual football dinner, auction to be held Friday

The 15th annual Sam Houston State University Bearkat Football Dinner and Auction will commence at the Walker County Fairgrounds on Friday at 6 p.m.

A silent auction will begin the evening and be followed by a formal dinner at 7 p.m. Dinner will be succeeded by a live auction. Capping off the all-star gala will be music by senior football player John Charles Guseman.

Athletic Department secretary Sherrill Macdowell said items for the silent auction come from all over the place.

“Donations come from the NFL, NBA, and colleges across the nation,” Macdowell said.

Craig Naivar, defensive coordinator for the SHSU football team, said some of the 300 items included in the silent auction will be autographs from professional players and other collectables.

“We will be auctioning off limousine service to and from the Houston Astros’ and Texans’ games,” Naivar said. “We will also auction a chance for people to coach the offense of defense of the Bearkat’s spring scrimmage football game. Plus, there will be golf stuff from all over the area.”

Naivar said other items on the block are helmets, books, hunting packages and spa packages. Money form the auction will benefit the SHSU Bearkat football team next year.

“The money kind of goes everywhere within the program,” he said. “It supplements budget cuts, but every dollar goes toward the players and what they need.”

Anyone interested in attending the social event can purchase tickets for $30 per single, $50 for couples and $200 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased at the football office or at the door the night of the event.

Naivar said that if previous attendance is any indication of how many people will attend, he expects a big turn out.

“We usually have from 600 to 650 people,” Naivar said. “The crowd is a big cross section of the community. The community itself has been extremely supportive both attending and donating.”

Naivar said the social event is also a great way to meet people and contribute to a worthy cause.

“This is a great way for people to meet the players. Last year the event brought in between $35,000 and $45,000,” he said.

While at the auction, attendees will get to feast on barbeque provided by a grateful member of the SHSU football family.

“Former player and alumnus Jack Herd and his wife Janet donated the entire meal,” Naivar said. “We will also be giving out player awards.”

Naivar said planning for the event takes a lot of time and commitment.

“We totally put this thing on. Sherrill Macdowell is the nuts and bolts of this whole thing,” he said. “This started back in October and November, right after recruiting. We had to collect over 300 silent auction items and contact professional teams about making donations.”

The dinner and auction has come a long way from its hopeful roots, according to Naivar.

“Defense coordinator Mike Lucus got this whole thing started,” he said. “It started out being just a few coaches barbequing some steaks on a gas grill. Now, this our way of ending the spring season, and celebrating the beginning of the fall season.”

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