Rent-a-rugger funds a game

In the wake of a fundraising crisis, sophomore Chris Dye and junior Tyler Kinzer, both dedicated members of the John Brown University rugby team, brainstormed up the idea of a Valentine’s banquet sponsored by the team.

The banquet first spun off of the idea of “Rent-a-Rugger” where University girls could bid on rugby players. The highest bidder of each rugby player was awarded a date with tthem to the banquet. The banquet was not open just to those who bought dates but all University students. After the banquet, the rugby boys who were “rented” took their dates to a movie.

The banquet was held at First Baptist Church on Feb. 16. The church offered their facilities to the team free of charge. Fratelli’s pizzeria catered in their famous pizza and desert was provided. There were door prizes, dancing and good music.

A production such as this could only be put on with a great amount of help. Junior Edith Dotson and sophomore Viki Clark were influential in helping the banquet come together.

Dedicated rugby fans and friends with many of the players, the two women had a vested interest in helping out the team. They were the ones responsible for searching and confirming a location and were in charge of many of the details.

Kinzer said the banquet was about more than only raising money. The team also hoped to raise awareness of who they are amidst the local community.

“Registration, playing our games and paying our refs all adds up,” Kinzer said. “But, we also want to get our club more involved in the JBU community and the Siloam Springs community. We’re setting up weekend jobs to help [people in the community] who need help raking their yard and other things.”

The team hopes that after their recent endeavors, the financial strain of the sport they love will not hinder their passion or take away a team that is dearly beloved at the University.

Both the auction and the banquet seemed promising.

“The auction went really well,” Kinzer said. “We made $317. Supposedly, the last 20 minutes there was a crowd of girls trying to outbid each other.”

Dedicated rugby player and junior Luke Wanzer shared his thoughts on the matter. “I think people were willing to do it because it was a good cause.”

“We’re hoping it goes well this year, so we can make it an annual thing,” Kinzer said.