By Steven Hoffman
Andrea Anthony was elated when Oxford resident Buzz Dorety contacted her and told her that he wanted to donate two five-gallon water jugs filled with pennies that he had saved up over the years.
Anthony is the cheer director for the Oxford Golden Bears and the organization is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to buy new uniforms for the cheerleaders. It's been eight years since uniforms were last purchased, and the Golden Bears need to raise $10,000 for approximately 100 uniforms before the start of another season.
Dorety read about the fundraising effort in the newspaper and was inspired to donate two jugs of change that he had collected over the years.
“Mr. Dorety is one of the kindest people I have ever met in the Oxford area,” Anthony said. “He made a point of seeking me out at one of the First Friday Art Strolls in Oxford and asked me about the cheerleaders and the campaign we launched a few month ago.”
According to Anthony, Dorety was not sure how long he'd been saving the pennies. He guessed that he had about $275 saved up, and he wanted to donate them to the Golden Bears because his daughter had been a cheerleader for the Golden Bears at one time and had really enjoyed the experience. Anthony thought it was a very generous offer. When she and some of the cheerleaders went to pick up the containers of pennies, they thanked Dorety for his generous donation. When they took the pennies to the bank, they were astonished to find that the two water jugs actually contained $675 in pennies.
Needless to say, the Golden Bears organization was extremely grateful.
“He's such a nice man and it's a wonderful gesture,” Anthony said.
Anthony and her husband have met Dorety on several occasions since the first meeting, and they marvel at his kindness.
“We learned that he loves our town and is compassionate about youth sports in the Oxford area,” Anthony explained. “He was very touched when we took his picture with some of the cheerleaders. He couldn't get over how thankful the little girls were for his generosity.”
Dorety ended up donating another jar of pennies, with about $275 in it, to the organization, bringing the total to more than $950.
“Mr. Dorety's pennies contributed about 10 percent of the entire uniform goal—that's a huge success for us,” Anthony explained. “We owe a great deal to this gentleman who selflessly thought of the cheerleaders and the Oxford Golden Bears organization.”
So far, Anthony said, they have collected about $4,200 in donations, approximately 40 percent of the goal. In order to purchase the uniforms in time for the 2014 season, the fundraising will need to be almost complete by June 1.
The committee in charge of the fundraising campaign have already held several events to help raise money and several other fundraisers are coming up. On Saturday, May 3, the Golden Bears will be hosting a community-wide yard sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elk Ridge School. And on Friday, June 6, the organization is holding a “School's Out Dance” for seventh- and eighth-graders from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Redman's Pavilion in Oxford.
For more information about these and other fundraisers, visit www.OxfordGoldenBears.org.