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Country music began to play as students, parents and coaches migrated from the football scrimmage at Herscher High School’s Seabach Stadium to the open field just north of it for the final event of sports preview night.
Three of the district’s principals, Brad Elliot, Brett Miller and Michelle Chavers, entered a fenced-off arena as the rules were announced.
The one-hour countdown began and three cows were released onto the 600-square bingo grid for the Herscher Athletic Boosters’ fourth annual Cow Pie Bingo Fundraiser.
The brainchild of booster volunteer Amy Berns, with inspiration from Brenda Wetzel, began four years ago when the group was researching new ideas for fundraisers.
Ringing in at $12,000, of which $2,000 total is awarded to three winners when a cow pie lands in their square, the fundraiser has been a success.
“When we raise that $10,000 every year, it helps [the boosters] help our teams greatly,” Berns said. “But without the players, parents and volunteers, we couldn’t do it.”
The football players, and their parents by proxy, are tasked with selling a total of 600 bingo tickets at $20 each. One ticket gets the buyer one randomized square on the grid, and each cow is followed by one judge, this year’s team of principals, for accuracy.
The cows, provided this year by Cabery farmers James Robertson and Lori Brown, were named in honor of the football coaches for the night: Wetzel, Vinny and Quick, with Klein remaining in the trailer.
While there were a couple false alarms as the crowd surrounding the arena anxiously waited for luck to drop, the cows seemed to get a case of stage fright as the one-hour time cap arrived.
Three winners still were declared via a drawing and awarded their prizes of $250, $750 and $1,000.
The grid will fade away until next year, but meanwhile, the boosters will be able to fulfill needs for the athletic teams, like the recent purchase of new soccer goals.
“Poop happens, but poop sometimes doesn’t happen,” principal Miller joked as he left the arena.
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