Letter to the editor: We couldn’t have done it without the Friends of Otter Valley Football

Dear Friends of Otter Valley Football,

As you may know, the Otter Valley Football Club Inc. (OVFC) was established in 1995 as a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization with a singular mission : to support the sport of football at OVUHS along with the values of good sportsmanship, school spirit and community pride.   

Recently, the Otter Valley Football Club’s vision of establishing permanent lights at Markowski Field was unanimously approved by the Otter Valley Union Unified School Board. 

For a period of time, night games were possible through the use of portable lights.  The Otter Valley Football Club secured the lease for the lights, transported them, set up the 12 portable light units needed for this event, along with providing our usual services of assistance with field set-up and take-down, concession, clothing sales, raffles and general chaotic festivities. 

In addition to football, Varsity Boys and Girls Soccer and Field Hockey night games were played under the portable lights, thanks to the Otter Valley Booster Clubs’ partnership with us. Unfortunately, the portable light units were banned by the Vermont Principals Association prior to the 2020 season.

I don’t know if you have ever been to a night football game at OV, but it is quite a spectacle. The current status is that you have missed your chance, and believe me, they were quite an event!

Hundreds of fans, young folks, and seniors, Brandon Recreation Football Program and Pittsford Youth Program youngsters getting out there on the field to “play under the lights like the big guys” at halftime, dogs (edible and canine), music, kids running around, concession, raffles, lights, burgers, action, OV students with painted faces and flour in their hair, radio stations, cheering, competition, advertising signs, TV,  colorful play-by-play coverage, outrageous noise, and high school football under the lights!  Whew!  It doesn’t get any better than that! 

The value of this event was truly one of the highlights for our community for those years.  Certainly, for the School and our OV students.

So, I’m asking you to do some stuff.  Ask around and present the question to your spouse or partner, friends, family, neighbors, children and the guy in the checkout line next to you: Would you support the Otter Valley Football Club and OVUMHS in fundraising efforts for establishing permanent lights at Markowski Field? 

Would you attend one of our regularly scheduled monthly Football Club meetings?  (first Tuesday of the month, and some extra meetings)

Would you make a phone call, send an e-mail, write a letter, or speak to a friend about getting involved in our fundraising efforts?  Could you join us?

Would you talk to your sons and daughters who have had a positive experience playing for OV Football or Soccer, or have attended or played in a Night Football or Soccer Game and ask them to contact an OVFC Board Member and offer their assistance in support of permanent lights?

Are you an OV sports fan?  Do you support OV football?  Do you wear a 

T-shirt that says “Our World is Not Round”? (I know there might be thousands of those shirts out there).  Could you drop a note to any OVFC member and lend your support?

Are you an OV alumni?  A former football, field hockey or soccer player?  Did you play under the lights, or wish you had? (I know there are hundreds of you out there) Would you let someone at the school know about your experience and join us in one of our fundraising events?

Are you a current or former member of the OVFC Board? (I know there are about 60 of you out there!)  Did you pull trees from an abandoned cow pasture or hand-rake tons of topsoil?  Did you build a Press Box or jump around in an Otter mascot suit?  Did you play golf or drive around selling raffle tickets in a golf cart at a “Block and Blitz” event?  Were you our #1 cheerleader?  Did you cook more spaghetti than you thought was humanly possible for teenagers to consume?  Did you help erect goalposts at the JV Field?  Were you on the chain-gang?  Did you hand-craft items for donation to the Club?  Did you run the concession?   This possibility for Night Football Games is the culmination of all of your efforts.  Will you join us again? (there is a very little known clause that the President can re-call you into service!)

Are you or have you been a member of the Otter Valley Booster Club who supported co-sponsoring the portable lights for Varsity Soccer and Field Hockey Games?  Will you join in the effort to make lights a permanent fixture at OV?

Have you volunteered at a Night Game?  Are you a member of the Brandon or Pittsford Fire Department who has helped us with parking cars or directed traffic to keep everyone safe?  Flipped burgers or worked on the chain gang?  Are you a medical professional who volunteered for years to provide medical services at home games, or are a member of the Brandon Area Rescue Squad providing emergency services?   Have you worked in the concession stand?  Have you provided Police protection at a night football game?

Are you a coach or parent of a Town Recreation Program?  Are you a Town Recreation Director?  Did your son or daughter “play under the lights” at an OV night football game?  Did they enjoy that?  Did you enjoy that?  Would you like to see others do it again?  

Did you sing the National Anthem at a night football game?  Wasn’t that cool?  Would you like to do it again?  Would you like to see someone else be able to do it again in the future?  

Are you a “Light Sponsor”?  Have you supported having your donation go towards permanent lights for night football games at Markowski Field”?  I’m sure that you have picked up some extra accounts, secured a new job bid for your company, or made some additional sales due to your advertisement at the Night Football Game.  

Light up the Valley!  Together, we can make this happen.  Go Otters!

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