Schools Using Lemak Grant to Fund Sports Program Projects | Lemak Health

by LaVonte Young

B.B. Comer and Alabama School for the Deaf were among 12 high school recipients of the 2011 Dr. Lawrence Lemak Award grant in July at the annual Championship Coach Banquet held in Montgomery during the AHSAA All-Star week.

Each school received $2,500 from the total of $30,000 distributed by the Lemak Group.

“They award a need base award every year,” B.B. Comer head coach Anthony Jacks said. “It is online for anybody to apply for. You go on there and write an essay for it and they evaluate everyone that comes in. You pretty much tell them why you need it. We have several renovations around here that we working on with the facilities and several of the things we cited in the essay.”

Jacks said they used the grant to make improvements to their baseball field. The second-year head coach thanked former principal Linda McAdams for writing the grant.

“We are knocking all the trees down here at the baseball field,” Jacks said. “It looks like a new place out here. We have done a lot of improvement to the baseball field. We are trying to get our air conditioner for the field house. We have several projects that we are working out.”

Over the last two years, 10 schools were awarded the $2,500 grant. The 12 included ASD, B.B. Comer, Central- Haynesville, Cherokee County, Notasulga, Parrish, Skyline, Sweet Water, Tarrant, Washington County, Wicksburg, and Woodlawn.

“Walter Ripley asked about applying for the Lemak grants to help with some of our track equipment,” ASD principal Paul Millard said. “Of course with these tough economic times, all of us can use all the help that we can get. We have been very fortunate under the leadership of the board of the AIDB trustees and Dr. Graham that we have made the best use of the resources that we have. Even without having to layoff people and provide the best that we can for the kids.”

ASD has held many track meets over the years including the Talladega County track meet. Graham said that the Silent Warriors take pride in hosting track meets.

“We host many track events and we have a lot of teams coming in from a lot of different places because we are proud of the way that we can run a track meet and it goes well, Graham said. “A lot of people like coming here and participate, so some hurdles, field events equipment needed updating. Walter Ripley completed the grant and we were one of the 12 schools to get the grant this year. We were in the group with five or more sports.”

The Alabama School of the Blind under AIDB received a grant last year on the behalf of the Lemak Foundation and they used it very well and benefited from it greatly.

The Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association awarded 10 Coaches’ Children Scholarships. Former Lincoln standout Felicia Hansen received the scholarship, her mother Patti Hansen coaches for the Lady Golden Bears volleyball team.

Pell City High School was one of the ten schools that reported major damage from the April 27 storm and received funds from a special Tornado Relief Fund that was established through the AHSAA Catastrophic Fund.

The other nine recipients of the combined $30,000 in funds were: East Limestone, Hackleburg, Hanceville, Holt, Phil Campbell, Plainview, Ragland, St. Clair County and Walker.

“We are thrilled,” Pell City principal Helene Bettinger said. “Even though we do get an insurance check for our repairs it doesn’t nearly cover everything. We have this money earmarked for our security system for some of our cameras. We are excited anytime we get money, it is a good thing, especially with how bad funding cuts get. We are happy.”

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