Damn it, damn it, damn it!!!I keep thinking, if I'd only known about this SOONER, I'd have withheld the fee amount. But the only reason Terry's been INVITED to the Elite Football University Top Gun Showcase is BECAUSE of his performance in the three camps he's attended so far. If he goes to this Showcase, in South Carolina July 8-10, he is virtually guaranteed an invitation to the National US Army Combine. You don't get to go to that WITHOUT an invitation. (And there is a - granted, much slimmer-- chance that he could be one of the 8 players named and invited as All Americans to the US Army All American Bowl.) I have zero expectations regarding the All American one; Terry and I are both clear headed about his prospects, he's not going to play at a Division I school -- and we're FINE with that. But to be invited to the National Combine? Even if we couldn't go due to lack of funds, just being invited would be an honour above all others (okay, that's bullshit, I'd sell a kidney).But the damned Showcase where he'd be virtually guaranteed this National Combine invite? The fee is $600. And god knows how much the travel and lodging would cost. I've been thinking it through since we got the letter: We are already due at Penn for the July 14 camp; that would mean:Driving down to S. Carolina for this Invitational between July 7-10 (We HAVE to get there the night before, there's no WAY he sets foot on that field without a GOOD night's sleep). Killing three days (spending money on hotels for three nights in addition to the July 13/14 nights already paid for), then driving to Penn for the July 14 camp and finishing the trip as planned, driving up to Cleveland for the Case Western Camp on 7/16.So. A low estimate of what it would take to make this happen:6 days' lodging at a minimum of $60 a night ($360+), and the $600 fee. Basically, it's going to take a bare minimum of $1000 to get Terry to a Showcase that will, to put it mildly, COMPLETELY change his prospects, which are already pretty damned good, to STELLAR.But I've already fundraised $1000 so far for this crucial summer. To go out with my begging bowl again seems not only shameless (funny, considering how much shame it costs me), but downright audacious. Obama's audacity of hope springs to mind. (To be fair, though -- I DID estimate during that first fundraiser that the amount necessary would be around $3000 -- so A) I wasn't as off the mark as it seemed and B) we can just consider this the Part 2 of one 2 Part fundraiser. Right? Right?)Okay. I'm going to do this. I HAVE to do it. If I don't even TRY, I'll never forgive myself. If I had ANYTHING I could sell to get the money myself, I swear I'd do it. I have exactly ONE item of true value, and it's the diamond ring my father gave my mother. Not only is it not ever leaving my possession... it's not worth more than $400. I mean, to BUY it would cost upwards of $4000 -- but they don't pay you what it's worth, they pay you the resale value. I'll never understand that. But nevertheless, all this just means I have no financial incentive to sell my mother's engagement ring. Okay, well... here it goes. Please forgive me, but I'm going to bombard my page with fundraising stuff for however long it takes to either raise the money or to discern that it cannot be done. If that's the case and I've received some of the full amount, I have another, smaller camp to send him to. Thank you for your forbearance, and please do not EVER feel obliged to contribute when you cannot afford it. Also, if you use Venmo or Paypal and prefer to skip the percentage that this site takes, by ALL means, do so. It'll help get to the goal that much faster.
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