The 100 in its name could designate the thousands of dollars the Shark 100 Club has contributed to support athletic programs at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School.
Club president Willie Ramsey presented high school athletic director Chuck Gannon with a check for $7,000 last week, representing in part the proceeds of the highly-successful annual chicken dinner fundraiser and closing the books on another successful year for the Shark 100 Club.
As it prepares for its 27th year, the club has donated to date nearly $125,000 since 1986 to Tiger Shark athletics.
“They have had a tremendous impact,” Gannon said. “It’s very helpful. It is a good collaboration, people working together for the benefit of the kids.
“We appreciate everything the Shark 100 Club does for us.”
The annual chicken dinner fundraiser, which alone raised over $3,000, is a testament to that collaboration.
The Shark 100 Club picks up the tab for the components of the meal, chicken, coleslaw, baked beans and beverages and a cooking team of club members, led by School Board member John Wright, do most of the cooking.
“So many people put so much into cooking those chicken dinners,” Ramsey said.
On top of that, the coaching staffs do of the serving.
Tickets to the fundraiser are sold in advance throughout the community.
Each athletic team at the high school receives an allotment of tickets to sell.
The proceeds, represented by the check last week, is disbursed in turn among all sports teams.
“We are not just donating to football or basketball or baseball,” Ramsey said. “The Shark 100 Club is an universal account for all the high school athletics.
“There is sweat-equity in there for the athletes. They get out what they put into it.”
Gannon said funds raised are divided among the sports programs based on several factors: involvement in the fundraiser and ability to bring in fans being two of the most prominent.
“The ones that are in need and pull in the people, those are the sports we are trying to help,” Gannon said.
Beyond raising funds, Gannon added, there is a sense of common purpose, of joint effort to buttress the athletic programs at a time when austerity is the buzz word and funding is a precious commodity for all extracurricular activities.
“The thing I like is it’s a camaraderie deal,” Gannon said. “Everybody working for everybody and we get great support from the community.”
As Ramsey noted, even folks who might live out of town, who might not be able to collect their chicken dinners, will still send along a donation as if they had been one of the nearly 700 people who chowed down this past year.
“It always amazes me the support we get,” Ramsey said. “It’s all about the kids.
“We are kind of an under-the-radar club. We have been blessed to have so many people in the community who support what we are doing. We don’t toot our horn, though maybe we should toot our horn.”
The Shark 100 Club sells memberships in four categories. After covering minor costs for items such as hats and t-shirts, the membership fees go entirely to Tiger Shark athletics.
Tiger Shark – for a donation of $100 the individual, businesses or organization receives one Shark 100 hat, two reserved seats to home football games, program recognition and reserved parking at football games.
Mako Shark – for a contribution of $250 an individual, businesses or organization receives two Shark 100 hats, two reserved seats at home football games, special program recognition and reserved parking at football games.
Bull Shark – for a contribution of $500, individuals, businesses or organizations receive two Shark 100 hats, two reserved seats at home football games, two reserved seats at home basketball games, special program recognition and reserved parking at football games.
Sand Shark – for a $50 donation, parents of Tiger Shark athletes receive one Shark 100 hat and program recognition.
Anyone interested in joining the Shark 100 Club, may submit their contribution to the Shark 100 Club, P.O. Box 524, Port St. Joe, FL 32457.