Point’s generosity will benefit generations of Southside High School students

Published 5:45 pm Saturday, May 21, 2016

In several stories over the last year, we’ve written about the financial problems of Southside High School’s athletic department.

During football season, the team played several scheduled home games on the road.

Head football coach Daniel Flowers said the school wasn’t making enough from home games to balance its budget and other schools were willing to pay Southside to travel, plus provide enough additional funding to make it worthwhile.

During baseball season, head coach John Solomon started a GoFundMe page trying to raise funds so the Panthers could finish their regular season.

Southside isn’t the only school locally that gets creative to raise funds for its athletic department. All of them do.

It’s a constant battle for just about every sports program in the state, particularly those in the Black Belt where money doesn’t grow on trees like it seems to do in other parts of Alabama.

Fundraising, like selling donuts at four-way stops or outside supermarkets, has become so commonplace for teams that most of us don’t even think twice about it.

For Southside, the need had gotten to the point where those kinds of fundraisers weren’t producing the kind of results the Panthers needed. Somehow a school from nearly 2,000 miles away heard those needs and stepped in to make a difference.

On Friday, Point Loma Nazarene University students and Southside graduate Al Frederick Smith presented the school with a $10,000 check to renovate the old gymnasium at the school.

The gymnasium will be converted into a new locker room and weight room for the football team and will give the Panthers a place to get ready before games. Point is based in San Diego, California but students worked tirelessly to raise money for Southside. We doubt the university even knew of the most recent struggles financial struggles the school had faced, given that the fundraising project they were a part of started three years ago.

The university should be proud of the effort of the students involved in the project. Their generosity will positively impact generations of Southside students.