Head football coach summarizes season for Kiwanians
By Sarah Einselen
Galion head football coach Chris Hawkins chatted with the Kiwanis Club at the club’s weekly meeting Tuesday about the wrap-up of the 2011 season, in which the varsity team won eight of the 10 games.
“We’re 8–2 and disappointed,” he said, “but that’s a positive thing.” Hawkins compared the standard that team members held themselves to this year to the less demanding expectations the players and the community had in previous years. “We’ve come a long way, but we’re getting there,” he said. “We’ve got a ways to go.”
The two goals he always has for the team, he said, are to win the league and play in week 11. “We didn’t attain our top two goals, but we attained our mission statement,” he said. The important thing is to keep one’s focus on what really matters, not on winning at all costs, he noted, and he tries to keep the school’s football program centered on building fundamental athletic and character traits that the students can benefit from after graduation.
“For the majority of the kids,” Hawkins explained, playing football “probably stops after the senior year of high school.” So in addition to cultivating good football players, he tries to build “good kids that parents can be proud of,” he said. “Our kids are starting to buy into that, you reap what you sow, and I think that’s why you’re starting to see the program turn around.”
During the business portion of the meeting, Kiwanians discussed several ways in which they can help alleviate the hunger problem in Galion both individually and as a club. Incoming president Doug Greene pointed out that the Kiwanis mission statement describes the clubs as “a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time,” and since many children in Galion go hungry this would be an opportunity to practice the group’s mission.
“I think most of you know intellectually that there are a lot of hungry people in Galion,” Greene said. Jill Lee, Kiwanis member and Community Action director, corroborated Greene’s assessment of the gravity of the hunger problem by stating that between 275 and 300 people benefit from the CAC food pantry each month and 110 children participate in the backpack program that provides enough food to last a child for a weekend until school starts again.
Tina Eidson of the county Aktion Club announced that the October party provided a good time for the club members who participated. Aktion Club has decided to adopt the county Head Start program this year for its Christmas donations and requested a $150 donation from the Kiwanis to buy children’s underwear, socks and other necessities the Head Start center is usually short on.
Toys for Tots boxes are distributed, according to committee members Robyn Minnear and Joe Kleinknecht. Toy distribution will be Dec. 10. Minnear said she had received an offer from the Coca-Cola company to provide free snacks and beverages at the Toys for Tots workdays, to be held in early December before the distribution. The club is attempting to gather as many toys as possible to replenish the dwindling inventory.