Blue Tiger Athletics Club looks to fundraiser to help fund new sports

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Several of the items up for sale during the Blue Tiger Athletics Club’s live auction Saturday night at The LINC weren’t intended to be taken home by the winning bidder.

Bidders, for example, were able to bid on how much they would contribute toward a washer and dryer for the sports programs at Lincoln University.

A goal, according to club President Dennis Mueller, was to raise enough money to support the expansion of athletics at Lincoln.

He said when he became involved with the club about 10 years ago, it was known as the Quarterback Club. That was when then-Lincoln head football coach Mike Jones helmed the team. Jones used his connection as a former player for the St. Louis Rams to get former Rams coach Dick Vermeil and Jones’ old Rams teammates to attend.

“When we got involved, we realized we had to support all of our Lincoln teams,” Mueller said. “So we changed the name to the Blue Tiger Athletics Club.”

With three new sports coming in — baseball and men’s and women’s soccer — it’s more important than ever to support sports across the board, Mueller said. Those sports won’t start until the 2024-25 school year, but coaches have been hired and equipment is needed.

The baseball team will play at Vivion Field. The university is considering site options for soccer, such as the Lincoln ROTC field.

“We try to keep as much stuff on campus as we can,” Mueller said. “We were looking at (the 179 Soccer Park), but getting athletes out there for practice, getting students out there for games, isn’t ideal.”

Organizers expected 500-600 people at Saturday’s event. More than 50 tables were pre-sold and individuals had purchased dozens of additional tickets. Organizers also prepared for a few walk-ups, Mueller said.

“It’s a lot of work involved. It’s our big fundraiser for the year,” he added.

Thursday morning, 100 football players came in and placed down carpet squares, covering and protecting the gym floor at The LINC. Then they brought in and set up tables and chairs.

The event included live and silent auctions. Live auction items that bidders could take home included a Magic Johnson-signed jersey, which was donated by Rep. Dave Griffith, of Jefferson City. One late addition to the live auction was a round of golf for four with Ozzie Smith at the Jefferson City Country Club.

Last year’s event brought in about $50,000.

  photo  Supporters of LU athletics turned out Saturday night at The Linc for the Casino Night fundraiser. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  About 500 supporters of Lincoln Univeristy athletics turned out Saturday night at The Linc for the Casino Night fundraiser. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Supporters of LU athletics turned out Saturday night at The Linc for the Casino Night fundraiser. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Supporters of LU athletics turned out Saturday night at The Linc for the Casino Night fundraiser. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 

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