Let’s get it started in here

Pony logo colorPonies Touchdown Club wants pre-game party Friday to bring community together

The Ponies Touchdown Club hopes a new event Friday that took a half-year of  planning becomes a homecoming week tradition at Stillwater Area High School. The booster club holds its inaugural pre-game celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the southwest parking lot adjacent to Pony Stadium.

Club officials want the community event to celebrate the culmination of the weeklong Pony Pride homecoming activities leading up to the Ponies football game against the Roseville Raiders.

The event took six months to plan, taking up much of the booster club’s winter, according to Touchdown Club President Bob Gray. He said his wife and another club member’s wife were the forces behind party plans and getting the business and district partnerships for an event club officials hope will turn into a tradition.

“I think the overall vision we have for the evening is simply to show people how great a community we live in and this will really enhance the community spirit and create a gathering spot to make it a destination to see friends and neighbors and turn the homecoming week into a week-long celebration,” Gray said.

He praised the Stillwater Area High School Student Council for involving the community on a deeper level through events the council held during homecoming week.

“I think it’s just great and it’s a perfect example of students and the district and community members to all come together and really create that spirit,” Gray said. “This is a very fun event. We’re hoping we’re going to have a beautiful fall night like we’ve been having lately. There’s live music, good food, friends and neighbors. What we’re striving for is that vision of when you think of college football as you walk up to the stadium and you smell the brats and grills and hear the crowd and you just get that chill of anticipation in you because of all the excitement.”

“For the sake of homecoming and the unbelievable amount of time and effort put forth by Patti Olson, Kelly Jordan, Julie Hill and Linda Moncrief and several members of the Ponies Touchdown Club, we hope the weather is agreeable because there has been an unbelievable amount of planning and preparation for it to be a great community event. Those four women have really stepped up here,” Ponies football coach Beau LaBore said. “This will be a nice new tradition, as long as Mother Nature cooperates.”

Lee Valsvick hosts the family-friendly evening that includes games, face painting, bean bag toss, a football competition, live music performed by professional band Five Man Advantage and high school band Crimson Horizon; and the opportunity to meet cowboy Jeff Rector and his horse, Roanie. The pre-game event hosted by the Touchdown Club is free with concessions available for purchase.

The Ponies Touchdown Club was organized 18 months ago and has raised funds for the decorative wind screens on the field, the concussion reducing helmets worn by the football team, and a weight room renovation at the high school.

“The booster club has been able to accomplish a lot and we’re proud of the excitement we’ve created around football and the improvements we’ve made. Future fund raising events can continue to help with more facility improvements and everybody can benefit from them,” Gray said.

The pre-game party takes place Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the southwest parking lot adjacent to Pony Stadium.

Fans attending the party and game should dress for cool, wet conditions. Friday evening’s forecast calls for rain, temperatures in the low 50s and northeast winds 10 to 15 mph.

“It’s our way of giving a big thanks to all the members that have supported the organization over the past year-and-a-half,” Gray said.

The homecoming game itself has also been designated as a Tackle Cancer Game to raise money for the Randy Shaver Cancer & Community Fund, in partnership with the Minnesota Football Coaches Association.

Contact Avery Cropp at avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com

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