Unique fundraiser puts Pittsburg wrestling team to work picking corn

The team gets 100% of the proceeds thanks to a local family.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg High School wrestling team went to work on Wednesday night.

“We come out here and this one one of our biggest fundraisers for the season,” says head coach LC Davis.

The team sold sweet corn this summer to raise money.

The twist: after selling it, they have to go pick the corn themselves.

“It’s manual labor out here,” Davis adds, “It’s warm out here. The sun is shining. It’s awesome. We’re wrestlers. We’re cut from a different cloth. We’re used to hard work, so it’s good for us to get out here and get together in the summer and raise money for the program.”

“It’s good to see the boys and the girls come out and do a little elbow work.”

The corn comes from a farm owned by Pittsburg’s Gentry and Jon White – whose son JJ is on the team.

“About six years ago, Jon and I decided that we would like to give back to our kids sporting events,” Gentry says, “Anything they do travel-wise costs a lot of money, so we thought giving back to the teams would be a helpful way that we could contribute.”

“They’re really good to us,” says Pittsburg wrestler Tyler Bailey of the Whites, “They spend their money to get us corn, and we pick it and sell it for the wrestling team.”

100% of the profits go back to the wrestling team.

In addition to being a way to raise money, it’s a chance to build team chemistry, and a lesson in earning what you get.

“It is work, no matter what you’re doing in agriculture. It’s work in athletics,” White says, “It encompasses giving back to the community, letting people on social media see that they’re just not writing a donation check. It’s not a cold-call, it’s a high-quality product and it’s 100% profit. These kids are doing a little bit of work to help benefit them later in the year.”

“It’s a team bonding thing for us. That’s another reason I like it,” Davis finishes, “We come out here and pick the corn together. I think it builds our team bond and team chemistry, and we carry that through the season.”

The latest estimate on Wednesday night was the team has sold 235 dozen ears of corn – with 100% of the profit going back to the program.