A ton of love
Jan. 4, 2009
The Texas-Ohio State meeting in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl brought out a different kind of team effort Sunday morning, when a collection of staff spouses and fans from both schools got together to provide food for those in need in the Phoenix area.
When the Longhorns and the Buckeyes were matched in the game, Jim and Ellen Tressel called Mack and Sally Brown and made them aware of a tradition Ohio State had started of "giving back" at the site of their bowl trips. The Buckeye staff families had donated items for food banks at the game site, and Mack and Sally thought it would be great to do the same.
So Saturday, Sally and a group of coaches and staff wives purchased over 2,400 pounds of canned meats, soups, noodles, peanut butter, jelly and other food items, as well as socks for both men and women. Sunday, over 50 UT partisans met 200 Ohio State supporters to box food for 41,000 boxes of food for the needy through the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, the nation's largest and first food bank. The groups also combined to sack 40,000 pounds of citrus fruits to be distributed with the boxes.
It was UT's first venture, and Ohio State's eleventh, so the Buckeyes had the experience, but the Longhorns provided the edge at the checkout counter. Texas donated 2,400 pounds of food, Ohio State, 1,200. But this was a team effort, and everybody came up a winner on this day.
"We really appreciate Jim and Ellen letting us join them on this," said Mack Brown, "and this is something we plan to borrow as a new tradition for us. Those of us who are invited to bowl games have been richly blessed, and it is important for us to remember to give back."