by Professor ggrib
I was setting in my recliner watching PBS and their fundraising efforts. This year, they have 50’s stars in a spectacular show with pitches for donations. I somehow connected that concept with a grass roots movement, which is who the PBS donation appeal efforts go toward. But having just been at Cannonfest, I thought how similar, Cannonfest is, a grass roots movement of the Blue Jacket fan community. Like PBS, Cannonfest receives donations from many sources, and has obtained the support of the Blue Jackets themselves, but it is not sponsored by them. It may have originated by a waco idea of a couple of guys, but it has grown for all the good reasons.
Behind the Blue Jacket fan support for their team, lies another meaningful effort, the effort to support not only the Blue Jackets, but to support local charities. Raffles and donations certainly add to the fun of those attending Cannonfest, but they serve the great purpose of supporting community charities. The Jacket Backers have used fundraisers to support the Blue Jacket Foundation for years, with thousands of hours of work to obtain funds. They have been joined by the Arch City Army and this year Cannonfest helped provide support for dogs by providing dog food via food banks, to make sure “man’s best friend” doesn’t suffer either.
I am not going to even try to guess how much individual effort goes into Cannonfest each year. How much time is spent obtaining raffle prizes, how many hours does it take to produce a video? How about setting up the restaurant, writing blogs, sound and projection equipment , setting up displays and just plain co-ordination. It’s all non paying work, my friends, labors of love. It’s the very definition of grass roots.
The question has been asked how can this thing called Cannonfest continue to grow. It’s a good question, the resources and the interest items could eventually just top out. But there is one possibility that will absolutely blow the top off the event. The display of Lord Stanley’s Cup. When the Blue Jackets win it, I am hereby requesting it’s display at Cannonfest ?.
Using Larry the Cable Guy’s show’s title, ” Only in America” phrase, that’s what it is. Only in America can grass roots fans do something like this. Am I proud to be an American, you bet. Am I proud to be a Blue Jacket fan, again, you bet.