Booster parents for the Brandon High School football team, and their counterparts at Durant, are pushing fans to participate in this year’s RaceTrac competition for the top prize in a points-for-purchases contest.
"We're behind in the contest, but Brandon didn't have its first home game until Sept. 14, when we gave out [contest] key tags in the stands," said Brandon booster parent Cheryl Cabbage-Stanbro, whose son last year played with the Eagles. This year he's playing basketball only, but Cabbage-Stanbro remains active with the football boosters.
"We gave out key tags in the stands, at school, to all the coaches, the teachers and the booster parents," Cabbage-Stanbro added.
She made her comments in the hours leading up to the Brandon-Durant football game Sept. 21, which the Cougars won, 36-0. The Eagles are 0-3 in regular season play; the Cougars are undefeated (3-0).
But off the field is where the RaceTrac contest is playing out, and here's how it works:
- Fans of the Durant Cougars go to the RaceTrac at 6050 East State Road 60 to pick up a keychain tag.
- Fans of the Brandon Eagles go to the RaceTrac at 810 East Brandon Blvd. to pick up their keychain tags.
- Fans have their key tags swiped every time they make a purchase at any RaceTrac gas-convenience store in West Florida (from Ocala to Naples, east to Lakeland).
- The school that registers the highest amount of purchases through Oct. 26 will receive a percentage of those sales, up to 8 percent, and possibly higher, depending on sales, according to Elyse Connolly, community marketing and partnership manager for RaceTrac. The school in second place will recieve a percentage of sales up to 3 percent, and possibly higher as well, she added.
- Purchases of cigarettes and gas are not counted.
But here's the catch: There is a way around the no-gas rule, which Connolly confirmed. The contest does not exclude the purchase of gift cards.
"Technically, they could buy a RaceTrac gift card and use it on fuel," Connolly said. "The gift cards counts as cash and they would get credit for that."
This is the second year RaceTrac has instituted a contest for high school sports fans to support their respective schools. Last year's contest involved the purchase of RaceTrac fountain drinks, with the winning school, Brandon, collecting a donation for $3,500 for the most drinks purchased. Durant, in second place, received $1,000, Cabbage-Stanbro said.
The contest was held for six local high schools last year but it was Brandon and Durant that particularly stood out as strong contenders.
"Brandon and Durant really got behind the program," Connolly said. And when booster parents approached her this year about repeating the program, Connolly said she found a way to do something again for those two schools, with the possibility of adding more schools again next season.
"Our goal is to make life simpler and more enjoyable in the communities we serve," she said. "When the booster parents came to us we wanted to do something for them again."