MOUNT VERNON –– That noise you heard throughout Mount Vernon? It’s was Ohio State alumni shouting “O-H!”
The next thing you heard was someone else shouting “I-O!”
The Ohio State University Alumni Club of Knox County kicked off its third annual “Buckeye Spirit Event” on Tuesday with a rousing O-H-I-O chant, one that shook the walls of The Dan Emmett Conference Center.
It wasn’t just the chants. The OSU Marching Band performed their biggest hits. Buckeye cheerleaders mingled with the guests while Brutus Buckeye shook hands with the likes of Buckeyeman and the Jim Tressel look-alike.
“This event is a great boost for our community. We collect a lot of money for scholarships, both for freshmen and for upper-classmen,” President-elect Joyce Skocic said.
The event is the area’s largest fundraiser for Ohio State alumni. Last year the event raised well over $10,000. Organizers say this year’s event will likely exceed last year’s.
Craig Krenzel, the former OSU quarterback who led his team to a perfect 14-0 record and the 2002 National Championship, said in the keynote address that he loves taking part in Spirit Events around the country.
“It’s great that I can take part of something that affects someone’s life in a positive way,” Krenzel said of the fundraiser.
The event has grown each year, from a few dozen guests in 2008 to over 200 on Tuesday.
“This is a great boost for the kids. This club gives out four scholarships every year. We’re hoping we can increase that,” Past President Dave Daniels said.
A lot of the money comes from auctions. More than 90 Buckeye-related items were up for bid in both silent and live auction. Some attracted a lot of attention.
•an autographed basketball signed by Jerry Lucas,
•An autographed painting of Krenzel winning the 2002 championship,
•An OSU soda dispenser,
•A scarlet and gray bowtie, autographed by OSU President E. Gordon Gee,
•A lithograph signed by Hopalong Cassidy, Archie Griffin, Eddie George and Troy Smith,
•An E. Gordon Gee bobblehead, which started at $10 and ended up selling for $300.
“I collect them,” winning bidder Linda Fritz said. “I have the Heisman trophy winners, four different Woody Hayes, Jim Tressel. This one’s a natural fit.”
Plus the money goes to a good cause.
Organizers say this year could be the biggest fundraiser yet for the OSU Knox County Alumni Club.
“It’s great to be involved with the best fan base in the world. That’s what it means to be a Buckeye,” Krenzel said.