Area schools and athletics programs receive grant money
by Erich Hilkert
FAYETTEVILLE — Rep. Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga) made donations through a grant to several area high schools and athletic programs. The grant money was awarded to B.B. Comer, Childersburg, Fayetteville and Sylacauga. Grant money ranged from $1,000 to $2,000, with money being donated both to schools generally as well as specific athletic programs. The grant money was given to schools within Johnson’s constituency in District 33.

Fayetteville High School received a $2,000 donation, as well as $1,000 for the football program.

“We just want to thank Ron Johnson for his continuing support for our football program and all our athletics programs,” athletics director John Limbaugh said. “He’s given us $1,000 to our Fayetteville football program and he’s given another donation to our school. Ron’s been a big supporter of Fayetteville High School and all of our county schools. He’s also given money as well to B.B. Comer, to Sylacauga and to Childersburg as well. He’s just a big supporter of this area and does a great job as a representative. He’ll also cook a hamburger for us every now and then and smoke a butt for us and sell that for us. He really does a great job. He cares about the kids and that’s why we appreciate Rep. Johnson so much.”

Limbaugh said the football program has a specific need, something Johnson sought when he designated specific athletic programs.

“I’m probably going to use this toward the purchase of new uniform pants,” Limbaugh said. “We need a whole new set of uniform pants here to go with our uniforms. Everything from shoulder pads to helmets, it’s just such a tremendous cost, and we want to keep our kids safe as well as looking good out there. So, we’re going to use this toward uniforms this year. It’s something very, very needed, so we’re very appreciative of it.”

Fayetteville principal Byron Brasher said the money given to the school will be used for teacher training for technology. Brasher expressed his appreciation to Johnson.

The B.B. Comer baseball program also received a donation of $1,000. Comer head coach Evan Blair said Johnson’s donation will help the school to continue to improve its baseball facilities.

“He donated to Comer athletics and kind of specifically baseball because he knew we were doing a lot of facility upgrades, so he tried to help out as much as he could,” Blair said. “We appreciate any help we can get from him — the watering system and some equipment upgrades — we can definitely use it.”

According to Blair, the grant money came unsolicited.

“He actually contacted us and wanted to do the donation,” Blair said. “We didn’t call and ask or anything like that. That’s just him trying to help some of the programs in the area.”

Johnson has helped out area schools in past years as well.

“Last year, he helped our foundation out,” Limbaugh said. “We’ve got a huge wetlands project here at the school. We’re actually building a walkway. We’ll have an outdoor classroom, so we’re pretty excited about that. A lot of funds last year went specifically toward the foundation. This year, this was earmarked for the football program and he’s given something to the school itself.”

The improved appearance at Comer’s baseball field this year was made possible through those in the community. As Blair explained, the upgrades will continue this year because of Johnson’s donation.

“A lot of the stuff we did in the past just came from donations from the community,” Blair said. “We’re about drained, the community now, so we’ll be glad to get a little extra money and get some more work done. We’ve had plenty of administration support and parent help. Coach (Jack) Jackson does a great job maintaining everything. We’ve been lucky enough the last two years to cut down some trees and put up a fence and have sold some advertisements. We’ve got some people to donate some dirt to help with our infield. They’ll do some stuff. We’ve talked about sodding baselines. We’re definitely going to put in a watering system and just try to continue to do a little something every year to keep it upgraded.”

© 2013