Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Signal Mountain Athletic Club trainers Shannon, Darrell and David Wyke are contributing their prized sports memorabilia to help Pizza Hut on Dayton Boulevard raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The Red Bank Pizza Hut is offering patrons the opportunity to win the memorabilia donated by the Wykes and other sports fans while supporting the MDA until March 17, when the restaurant will raffle the items at its St. Patrick’s Day MDA bash from noon to 4 p.m.
When a customer donates a dollar for MDA, which Red Bank store manager Jason Summers said the Pizza Hut corporation supports each spring, the donor gets their name on a shamrock to put on the restaurant’s wall as well as a raffle ticket.
“You also get a dollar off your next Pizza Hut purchase, so you’re really not out a dollar,” said Summers, who came up with the idea for the sports raffle. “Everyone around here loves sports, so I thought I’d ask around and find a few people [to donate memorabilia]. After that, [the number of items donated] was crazy.”
The Wyke brothers made multiple donations for the raffle, including a Bruce Pearl basketball ($60 value), an autographed Nets jersey ($1,200 value), an autographed Atlanta Braves baseball ($2,000 value) and two personal training sessions ($100 value), said Summers.
Donors can put their raffle ticket into a box with marked divisions for specific items, including memorabilia signed by members of teams such as the Tennessee Vols, Atlanta Braves, Georgia Bulldogs and UTC Mocs.
“How often do you get a chance to get a ball signed by Derek Dooley or a Titans helmet signed by Nate Washington?” Summers asked.
Last year for the restaurant’s annual MDA fundraiser, Summers crocheted Care Bears in a St. Patrick’s Day motif and raised a total of $1,892 for the organization.
“I tried to figure out a way to top that,” said Summers, who continues to sell the bears for $40. “It’s a really good cause, and the money raised stays local.”
Shannon Wyke said he was picking up a pizza with his daughter Carilyne, 6, and made a donation to MDA. When she asked what he was doing, he used it as an opportunity to explain that not all children are born healthy and well.
“I was trying to drive home the point to her, for those who are able to do things [for themselves] to do things for others who can’t,” he said. “So many times we take for granted, those of us who do have healthy children, that some parents and children do have so many problems.”
Summers gave Carilyne one of his bears, which Shannon Wyke said he felt reinforced his message and increased her understanding of the importance of giving back to those less fortunate.
“There was a reason her and I walked in that day,” he said. “I felt like this was a chance for me to step up to the plate and help out.”
Summers said a portion of the money raised by the raffle will give local kids an opportunity to attend summer camp for a week and participate in activities such as fishing, canoeing and horseback riding. Part of the funds will also help low-income families afford leg braces, wheelchairs and other items related to muscular dystrophy, he said.
The restaurant will do separate drawings to determine the winner of each item. Patrons are welcome to enter each drawing as many times as they want by making a donation and putting their raffle ticket into the slot marked for their chosen item. Presence at the St. Patrick’s Day event is not required to win.