This week, Dawson County High School’s JROTC program received a large donation from Elite Heating & Air, a donation which JROTC leaders said will make a huge difference for the students in the program.
The idea to donate to the JROTC program first came from Tristan Brooksher, son of Elite owners Tim and Lindsay White, a tenth grader at Dawson County High School and a member of the JROTC program.
“I just wanted to help out; I was talking to my parents about how we could help out and thought about how maybe we could donate and get a little sponsorship for the JROTC,” Brooksher said. “I’m glad it worked out; I really do enjoy the program and I felt like trying to make it better and benefit.”
The family loved the idea and reached out to SFC (R) Steve Pamplin and Maj (R) Robert Wiley, the army instructor and senior army instructor for the program. On Thursday Sept. 15, a representative from Elite Heating and Air dropped off a check for $2000 for the program to use in any way it needs.
Pamplin said that the donation is one of the largest one-time checks that the program has received since he helped start it back in 2010, and that being given that amount of money will make a huge difference for the JROTC students.
“We have several different special teams: we’ve got a Raider team, we’ve got an air rifle marksmanship team, we have a cyber patriot team that deals with cyber security, we have a drill team,” Pamplin said. “All these events and competitions that we go to with these teams, there’s entry fees involved, so the money will go towards the entry fees. And we try to get team t-shirts for the kids and we don’t want them to have to pay for those so the money will go towards that too.”
For a program like the JROTC that holds fundraisers throughout the year to make money for its activities, Pamplin said that such a large gift will be a game changer.
“We do get an annual budget from the army to help take care of uniforms, but there’s a lot of things we want to do with the kids that we’re not able to use that money for, so we have to raise money and count on donations to do those things,” Pamplin said. “It’s great; we can use every penny of it to support the cadets.”
In addition to helping with competition entry fees, t-shirts and transportation, Pamplin added that part of the money will also go toward the program’s military ball, which the JROTC students throw each year, and potentially a trip to the infantry museum at Fort Benning, something which the students might not ordinarily be able to do.
Brooksher, who has been a member of the JROTC program for two years now, said that he’s happy that his family’s business can play a part in helping support the program.
“I’m on the Raiders team and then later on in the year we have drill; the money really does help with those teams which are one of my favorite things about the ROTC,” Brooksher said. “I just really enjoy it and I’ll do anything I can do to help benefit it.”
For more information about how to support the Dawson County High School JROTC program, email Pamplin directly at email@example.com.