May 13, 2011

Bowl Games Have Banner Moments Here And Abroad

Since 1947, the bowl industry has changed dramatically. The official expense statement from Orlando’s first Tangerine Bowl game — Final Balance: $794.07 — says all you need to know about that change.

Lost among the many buzz topics in today’s world of big-time college athletics are all the nuances and details that go into putting on the huge postseason productions each season. Conversely, once the games (and college football season) are over, the casual observer knows little about what happens to all the material that is produced for the games.

While many of the banners adorning Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on game day are packed up for re-use once the bowls are over, many of the large, colorful pennants and signs cannot be recycled. However, this past season presented a new opportunity for Florida Citrus Sports, one that applied the company mission statement (“…ultimately to benefit charities and educational institutions…”) beyond the Central Florida community for a great cause abroad.

Following the games, FCSports discovered the Wycliffe Global Alliance, an outreach and missionary organization that helps people in need all over the world.

Banners and mesh signs that could not be recycled for next year’s games were donated to WGA, who then turned around and sent them to families who have no shelter and are exposed to the elements. Material that would have gone to waste is now used for tents.  Mesh signage is wrapped around living space and used to keep mosquitoes and other disease-carrying bugs out.

Gary Peterson, Wycliffe Director of Youth and Young Adult Education, recently traveled to Papua New Guinea to deliver some of the banners. In a recent e-mail, he described just how the banners help.

“One of the things people need in the villages when they have their get togethers (which is often) is something for shade,” said Peterson. “Currently they have to chop down many palm fronds and banana leaves to provide protection from the tropical sun. Several banners put on polls would last far longer and save them having to cut down jungle material to provide shade.

“They also figure it would make for great walls to keep out mosquitoes and flies, yet let in air, thus making safe places to meet (malaria and dengue fever are deadly down there).”

Through the partnership with WGA, FCSports has been able to extend its charitable reach beyond Central Florida and have an impact internationally.

“These banners have been sent to various places around the world,” said Peterson. “It’s great to have an organization like Florida Citrus Sports that not only benefits its local community, but takes something that would otherwise go to waste and turns it into something that benefits mankind.

That is true vision and leadership.”

Florida Citrus Sports is proud to take advantage of this new opportunity with WGA and live the company values both domestically and internationally.


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