Rockford Fun Day brings football to community

Robert Ford peeks out from a playtime tunnel.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Robert Ford peeks out from a playtime tunnel.

Nothing gets the community of Rockford going like their youth football! Rockford Youth Football participants and their families turned out to celebrate the upcoming season recently and invited the community to come along and join the fun.

The community responded, with 350 turning out for the Aug. 20 Fun Day.

“We have never geared Rockford Fun Day toward fundraising,” said Rob Foister, director of Rockford Youth Football and Youth Wrestling. “It is something we do for the community. That is why we also do a blood drive and get Rural/Metro Ambulance Service here. We ask locals to set up booths to make the community more aware of who they are. Blue Bell Ice Cream gave away free ice cream, and WNOX provided a life remote broadcast. It has never been geared toward a fundraising, but we did raise right at $1,000.”

Foister said this is the second year for the event. “We are gearing this toward a youth program that is different from any I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Foister said the Rockford youth program is designed a little differently. “Even though there is a football program, it is geared toward fun and fellowship. If we have done anything, we have focused it more as an outreach. We take part in Keeping Blount Beautiful by helping with litter pickup,” he said. “Each year we do Halloween Trunk or Treat. My coaches are very active with the local school, and I’m on a leadership committee at Rockford Elementary where we talk about ways we can be more proactive in children’s learning.”

Foister said he and his wife Trissie are both involved. “She is the director for the cheerleading and has 35 cheerleaders. I was born and raised in Maryville and when we moved to Rockford, I told her I wanted to be a positive influence in the whole community,” he said.

Foister said it wasn’t long before he met up with an old friend, David Copeland. “David Copeland was the president of Rockford Youth Football. It didn’t have a board of directors or a fundraising committee.”

Foister said Copeland had given the program nine years of dedicated service, and he stepped down. Foister celebrated his first year in 2010. “I had been his assistant coach on the Peewee team,” Foister said. “David had always done mentoring, and we tried to take that to another level. I’m just continuing what David was doing. We’re building on a foundation he started.”

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