If smiles were any indication of fundraising success and an elevation of school spirit, the Chamber’s Bulldog Pride Night provided just the right opportunity. The cherry on top was the sweet Bulldog victory over the Springfield Kickapoo Chiefs 36-29.

Sunshine prevailed at the annual Bulldog Pride Night, Friday evening, sponsored by the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce. The event took place at the Rolla High School (RHS) parking lot to accommodate a sizable crowd, one that was collectively getting into the Bulldog spirit for the first home game against the Springfield-Kickapoo Chiefs.
The event was a fund-raiser for school programs and the attraction was the RHS Marching Band, cheerleaders, and according to the Chamber, approximately 90 game and information booths. Two organizations that represented the tenor of the event are CORE and the Rolla Athletic Booster Club.

“CORE represents champions of Rolla education,” said Bob Holmes, past-president and board member of the group.
“It’s the Rolla public school foundation. What we do is provide funds, through memberships and fundraising that go to [education] enrichment programs—things that tax dollars don’t pay for.”
Holmes gave examples of student field trips, $20,000 donated to help with a lecture room in the high school and donations to Leach Theatre for their Family Series programming. Other examples are helping with the Children’s Literature Festival, Pummil Math Relay and a trip to the Governor’s mansion.
“We’re all volunteers that meet once a month,” he said. “We manage the finances of CORE and the scholarships that are given to students.”
Holmes added that family legacy gifts have been left to the group and those are also managed by CORE.

The Rolla Athletic Booster Club was out in full-force to meet the public and explain what they do, as well. President Doug James and members were busy selling Rolla Bulldog window clings to support the various projects they fund annually for the RHS sports teams. Booster member Heidi Colench said the event was the perfect opportunity to spread school spirit and show everyone the importance of supporting the student athletes.

Families brought children of all ages to enjoy the fun, free hot dogs and drinks. One of the more popular games at the event was a miniature football “quarterback toss” sponsored by Town and Country Bank. The object of the game was to toss as many footballs as possible within 30 seconds, into a cut-out target that was placed at a distance.
“It’s just a fun little thing we designed for the kids,” said Patrick McCoy, a loan officer at the bank. “The winner gets four infield club seats to a [St. Louis] Cardinals game.”

The Rolla Marching Band drum corps provided the uplifting rhythm that had toddlers jumping up and down and swaying to the steady beat, while others gazed in wonderment at the spectacle of the energy projected by the choreography and cheers of Rolla Bulldog cheerleader routines.

If smiles were any indication of fundraising success and an elevation of school spirit, the Chamber’s Bulldog Pride Night provided just the right opportunity. The cherry on top was the sweet Bulldog victory over the Springfield Kickapoo Chiefs 36-29.