Hearts of Gold
September 16, 2016
Football team rallies for gold against Thornapple Kellogg tonight
The Varsity Football Team (1-2) will host the eighth annual Hearts of Gold game this Friday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 pm against Thornapple Kellogg. After coming off a tough loss against rival Lowell, the team looks to have a bounce back week.
This year’s Hearts of Gold game will benefit Arbor Circle Youth Services. Arbor Circle benefits young people with a variety of challenges such as struggles in school, mental health issues, and homelessness. They provide counseling, case management, and support services to help these individuals build the necessary skills to overcome their various challenges. With great meaning behind this week’s game, one can expect Memorial Field to be electric.
While the season has not started how many expected it to, the East community hopes to witness a win on Friday night. With a new coach and schedule, the football team is beginning to find their identity.
The football players are excited for what lies ahead, a chance at redemption and a meaningful game.
“It’s always great to be able to give back. Every week the community rallies around us and it’s great to be able to give some of that back and help out a great cause,” Senior defensive back Joe Bolea ‘17 said.
When asked whether the team will approach the game differently, Bolea replied, “from a football perspective, no, but there is a kind of a bigger purpose behind it. We know that we are not just playing for the game but to be able to give back and help out those less fortunate.”
Bolea’s teammate, senior captain wide receiver Jack Combs ‘17, also had a few comments about Friday’s game. Combs has two main keys to the game. First, the team must limit their turnovers and score when in the red zone. Secondly, they must limit big plays.
When asked about how he plans to contribute Friday night, Combs said, “Go out there and give 100 percent every play and do what I can do as a captain, and leader of this team.”
With attitudes like this, the community of East Grand Rapids will have a lot to look forward to tomorrow night!
Community supports Arbor Circle at annual Hearts of Gold game
The Bridge at Arbor Circle is an organization that supports the universal struggles of teenagers and young adults in West Michigan. East Grand Rapids is ready to support their cause. With more than 33 counseling, education and prevention programs, it can address anything from child or substance abuse, school readiness, and homelessness. Each year, the organization supports more than 13,000 children and families, providing them with the emotional, physical and mental stability needed to be resilient.
This year, the East Grand Rapids community is hoping to donate a year’s worth of support to teenagers in the organization. However, this requires more fundraising than most would assume. “It costs $50 to supply a youth client with the basic needs upon entering the homeless shelter, $100 to feed a child at Arbor Circle for two weeks, and $250 to help a homeless youth client receive his/her GED,” said Hannah Stuursma ‘18. In order to reach their donation goal, t-shirts, popsockets, and jerseys will be sold to all students, staff and parents in the district. These sales constitute the majority of the donation, yet more money will be raised at the annual Hearts of Gold football game. During halftime, donation buckets will be passed around so the spectators can donate spare change to Arbor Circle.
In the past, the East Grand Rapids community has raised enough money to support many organizations like Arbor Circle around all of West Michigan. “Last year, we gave over $65,000 to Ele’s Place, an organization that provides services to families in a crisis,” said Stuursma ‘18. This year, the East Grand Rapids community plans to reach a higher goal and help more people. Not only will the stands be covered in gold at the football game Friday, but also the hearts of the spectators as they support the families involved with Arbor Circle.