History of the Region Four Coaches - Officials Emergency Fund
In 1999, one of our football coaches' son had liver disease and needed a liver transplant. Even with insurance, the cost was enourmous. Our school system coaches wanted to help. We organized a Golf Tournament and called it "Mark Heil's Golf Tournament" and put on the flyers what the money was to be used for. It was very successful and we gave the family $17,625 after expenses. As coaches usually do, we analyzed what we did and what we might have done better. The thought occured to us that we needed to take care of our own. We decided that we needed to have a fund to help coaches, officials, AD's, and players for emergencies.
We decided to have a golf tournament in April of each year with all monies going into the Cumberland Coaches Benevelant Fund. We established a bank account and obtained a tax exempt number for all donations to be tax exempt. After several years our officials association decided to establish their own fund. Three years passed and we decided to combine both groups and thus have one fund. We decided to expand throughout the whole region encompassing ten counties. In 2002, it was renamed "Region Four Coaches / Officials Emergency Fund". We now have a golf tournament in April and one in October. The non-profit organization is governed by a Board Of Directors. It is made up of Officials, Coaches, and Athletic Directors. The chair person can authorize up to a $500 donation without board approval. Anything above $500 must be approved by the board.
With coaches and officials working together to put on the tournaments, our fund maintains $20-$25k at all times. In the sixteen years of our existance, we have given out over $160,000. This money has been given to officials, coaches, players, media personnel, and two schools destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. (One in Mississippi and one in New Orleans). We also give $1,000 to Pine Forest High School to assist with damages sustained in the April 2011 tornado outbreak. We are often contacted by coaches, principals, social workers, officials, and even parents as they see needs in our area. Helping those in need is our primary goal, however it has brought our officials and coaches together. It has allowed us to develop a very good working relationship and mutual respect for our roles.