Sam Tate, the founder of Young World Radio and his nationally syndicated oldie, goldie gospel show, Gospel Gems, that airs in 25 markets to an audience of five-millon-plus a week, is working his magic once again.
Tate is on the verge of bringing Sports World, an organization that helps young people make positive choices and is strongly supported by current and former players in the National Football League, to the High Country this fall. Tate with the support of Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Hemric and a committee that includes many influential people in Watauga County, has generated a positive stir.
"This is a huge blessing to our community," Tate said. "Afterall, this is God's country and we are very fortunate to be in this position. It will be a very exciting experience for this area."
It's so exciting that Dr. Hemric will organize a meeting with his school principals in the very near future to schedule this event. As of now, though nothing is official, it looks like the target date could be in early October during Homecoming week at Watauga High School. And Dr. Hemric is so excited about this project that he even volunteered to be a designated driver for the guest speaker.
Alfred Glover of Boone Ford will donate a vehicle; and Steve White of Steve White of Motors in Hickory, who have been a staunch supporter of this event in Catawba County, made a $1,000 donation.
"It's a solid program," White said. "I am very pleased with what I've seen. Many of our schools (in Catawba County and around the state) have lost their D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programs, and this is a way to bring in someone at no cost to the school to educate and influence our youth in a positive way."
The project will cost the Watauga County school District around $4500, but with the donation it received from White, the project seems to be safely on its way. Regional Manager David Zachos, who has been associated with Sports World for more than a year, is a former police officer, who put in 25 years of service in the Sarasota, FL, city school system. And he says this experience has made a huge impact in his life.
"I've been around a lot of kids that had to grow up in a tough enviorment," he said. "My goal has always been to help kids. Afterall, they are our future. And this program, thanks to the NFL, has been a real shot in the arm for those kids, who are facing tough decisions in their lives."
Michael Cobb of the Chicago Bears, Rich Garcia of the Philadelphia Eagles, Don McNeal of the Miami Dolphins, Lee Rouson of the New York Giants and Herman Weaver of the Seattle Seahawks are just a few of the voices provided by Sports World.
"Our speakers make an immediate impact with the kids concerning the dangers of drugs abuse and alcohol, as well as life in general, Zachos said. "These are tough times, especially with the shape the economy is in. But we are able, through our speakers, to reach a lot of children. It gives these kids a strong message of hope."
The way this works is rather simple. The speaker comes to town for a three-day periods, and speaks at all of the schools in the county during his stay. And the message he delivers is very strong.
"We've been blessed with the professional athletes this organization has attracted," Zachos said. "FOr a child looking up to someone like this, it's quite a inspiration in their lives. It gives them a role model they can look up to."
For more information concerning this project, please contact Sam Tate at (828) 265-0504.