• 32°

Quarterback club ready to start the season

The Selma Quarterback Club’s 2008 kickoff is just around the corner, and features a bevy of well-known, entertaining speakers.

Its kick-off meeting takes place Aug. 25 at Julius Talton’s river house. Lance Taylor and Ian Fitzimmons from Birmingham’s JOX radio station will attend as guests.

The schedule includes a plethora of well-known Alabama sports figures including former Alabama running back Bobby Humphrey, former Auburn coach Pat Dye, Troy coach Larry Blakeney and former Georgia coach Jim Donnan.

The club’s annual father and daughter/son night returns. Members’ children are admitted at a reduced price. Former Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox serves as the annual meeting’s guest speaker for the second consecutive year.

The Quarterback Club’s scholarship program sets it apart from similar clubs, though.

Every year, it gives away four $4,000 scholarships to deserving students.

“I’d be willing to venture a guess that no other scholarship program in Selma gives away that much,” said W. Forrest Hatfield, the ‘quarterback’ of the Quarterback Club.

The club wants to give away a fifth scholarship, once it is comfortable with its financial situation.

Scholarship funds are raised through several projects and sponsorships. The two primary sources are a $10,000 raffle and weekly meeting sponsorships by local merchants.

The primary challenge to retaining and enlarging the scholarship fund is a 20 percent member replacement rate each year.

The club had about 230 members in 2007, but is on track for a decreased membership — 180 total members — in 2008.

This decrease is attributed to changing financial situations, job opportunities and sitting out a year, among other factors.

The Selma Quarterback Club traces its origins to 1941, and is one of the oldest in the state. Dues are $175 per year.