BEC Member Relations Supervisor Toba Wright, BEC Fiber Vice President Shane Schmidt, BEC Manager of Products and Services BJ Simpson, BISD Athletic Director Joel Fontenot-Amedee, and BAFIT members Luis Moreno, Jeff Flowers, Ron Gherman and Nicole Flowers.
BEC Fiber has donated $6,000 to the Bandera Athletic Facility Improvement Team to finance a new inflatable run-through bulldog for Bandera Independent School District. The current inflatable bulldog, referred to as the Dog, was purchased two decades ago after the Bandera High School football team won the state championship.
“The Dog is 20 years old and has seen its day,” said Ron Gherman, president of BAFIT.
BAFIT was established in the fall of 2022 to enhance, update, and improve the athletic facility for Bandera athletics, dance, cheer, ROTC and band students. Coordinating with local businesses and fundraising, BAFIT raises money and community support to upgrade equipment and facilities.
“The new Dog will be used starting fall of 2023 for high school football and soccer programs,” said Gherman. “The old Dog will be donated to the Bandera middle school program, so it will still have a second life."
Even though BAFIT has only been active for a few months, it has already impacted the athletic program. They most recently donated a utility vehicle for the sports medicine program to help transport water and attend to injured students during games.
“Concern for Community is a core principle of BEC Fiber,” said Shane Schmidt, BEC Fiber vice president. “We are always looking for new ways to connect to our membership and be more involved. When Bandera Athletic Facility Improvement Team approached us regarding the new inflatable, we were excited to support the students of Bandera ISD and be a part of Bulldog Nation for years to come.”
The new inflatable Bulldog is scheduled to make its debut at the first home football game of the 2023 season.