The event, held at the Rice Festival Building, drew a crowd estimated at over 200 and raised an amount which could exceed $15,000 when all is said and done.
“I was really excited about the turnout,” said Fontenot, who replaced Tommy Tate earlier this year as the Gents’ head coach. “Obviously, you always want more people, but for the first time holding this type of event, I was pleased. “
In addition to raising money for the Gents’ football program, the event was also aimed at increasing community interest. That goal, too, was accomplished.
“I think that’s what we’ve been lacking,” said Fontenot. “.But, tonight, we had faculty members, former faculty members, former graduates, current parents and students here. To build a successful program, you have to have that support.”
The result was an auction which raised $13,000. The silent auction raised over $3,000 while the live auction netted just over $10,000.
Ticket sales and cooperate sponsorship totals were not available, but those figures are expected to push the overall total to over $15,000.
For Fontenot, it was more than expected.
“We were hoping to take in about $10,000,” said Fontenot. “`People knew it was coming, they came to it and had a good time. Hopefully, in the future, it will just get bigger. If you make it something that everyone enjoys coming to, whether they buy something or not, that’s half the battle.”
For those in attendance, it was also a welcomed sight to see the support for the program.
One of those was former Crowley Post-Signal Sports Editor and current CHS teacher Andy Hebert.
“I was very pleased with the turnout and all the money they were able to raise for the football team,” said Hebert. “It was a good thing for the school, but it was also good for the community. To have everybody there showing support was exciting.”
Also in attendance was judges John and M’elise Trahan, who made off with a few auction items, including the item that drew the highest bid - a filet mignon supper for up to 10 people that went for a hefty $1,025.
“I thought the banquet was a huge success, especially for the first time,” said John Trahan. “It was well attended and there was lively bidding on the auction items. I just thought it was a tremendous success.
Crowley Mayor Greg Jones was also in attendance and purchased a number of items as well, including a radio guest host spot on William Primo’s Saturday Morning Sports Show on 1450 AM.
“I thought that coach Fontenot brought a lot of enthusiasm to the auction and he did a great job,” said Jones. “I had a great time and it was nice to see so many people turn out to support Crowley High football.”