In October of this year, the community came together to help out a local school win an online competition to help offset the costs for student athletes to participate in sports. Wednesday was the check presentation and the school made a surprising decision.
"Every year, former Ohio State University and NFL superstar, Chris Spielman, provides a 10 thousand dollar check for the school who gets the most votes in an online competition known as the High School Team Challenge. The money, from McDonald’s Restaurants will help students participating in pay to play sport programs.
“I believe that sports and being involved in your school, or some extracurricular activity, is as important as math class, English classes, history classes, because they do teach us life lessons," Spielman explained.
After a lot of hard work by the students and a collective effort by the community, West Muskingum High School won the hefty sum!
"We hung up posters all over the school and we just got our entire community to come together," said Student Athlete, Julia Gutridge.
"It says a lot about our community, because The West Muskingum Community contacted other people, Maysville, John Glenn, Tri-Valley, all of those people were rooting for us, and they were voting for us, and without the support of all those people, we certainly wouldn’t have won," added Jim Maniaci, a West Muskingum Volunteer.
The student body received the reward Wednesday afternoon during an exciting pep rally, but then surprised all, especially Spielman, with their generosity.
"Well, the students gave me a check for over 11 hundred dollars," said Spielman.
Spielman’s late wife, Stephanie passed away 4 years ago after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Since then, he has started two funds in her name to help cancer patients.
"Cancer hits home with a lot of families, and I know that it is hard, so I think that as soon as we all found out about the opportunity, we were ready to get up on our feet and help out," said Hannah Tincher, a West M student and athlete.
Spielman said he will put the money towards the Patient Assistance Fund, which helps patients who struggle financially with basic needs.