Club helps feed, dress Eudora athletes
Although they aren't receiving the snap or running 30 yards for the touchdown or even kicking the field goal, the Cardinal 12th Man Club is just as much a part of the Eudora High School football program as any player.
The Cardinal 12th Man Club started just in time for the 2001 EHS football season, evolving each of its five years of life.
Current co-head of the program Jim Jackson said the program was actually the brainchild of Bruce Kracl and Tom Stein, who decided the football team needed some pre-game meals.
"It got started to improve some things for the kids and get them some pre-game food," Jackson said.
The five-year-old organization now provides weekly (and sometimes bi-weekly) pre-game meals, which consist of either grilled chicken, grilled steak and other cook-out foods or a pancake breakfast. It also gives team members athletic apparel like socks, shirts and shorts, an end-of-the-season scrapbook chronicling all the highs and lows of the season and away game bus ride meals.
Assuming the group has the necessary funds, Jackson said he hopes the program continues to evolve even further. He said the club has started offering scholarships to some of the players to make sure they are able to attend the team football camp each year in Missouri.
Co-head of the Cardinal 12th Man Club Don Durkin said the service is important to the football players as it shows the people of Eudora are always supporting them.
"It gives back some benefits to the kids so that the taxpayers don't have to take all the burden for helping the team succeed," Durkin said.
Perhaps what makes this organization so beneficial is that it does not just help the EHS football team, but also several EHS teams and other fund-raising groups. Durkin said if any EHS group asks for money from the organization, and if they have excess money leftover after the football season, then they'll happily share. One such group that has benefited is the wrestling team.
Jackson said what really keeps the group afloat and helping kids is the support of around-town sponsors.