Special needs sports team receives donation for “Field of Dreams”

CHAPIN, SC (WIS) - Three months ago, Patrick and Jenny Bowers were tossing around ideas on how the Screaming Eagles Athletic team could raise money to cover the costs of snacks and shirts for their athletes.

"I said to Jenny, 'If we can get a couple thousand dollars, that would be great,'" said Patrick, who is the organization's founder. "Her reply was, 'Maybe. We'll see. I don't know if we can raise that amount of money.'"

Not only did the Screaming Eagles reach that mark, they shattered it with the help of the community. On Wednesday, the Screaming Eagles were presented with a check for more than $110,000 to help the organization give athletes with special needs a chance to compete in the sports they love.

"We originally had the $100,000 goal, but we thought we might've set the bar a little too high for ourselves," said Chapin student body president Chase Haywood. "But then the generous people of Chapin just kept donating and the community just joined in with us and we were able to meet the goal and actually surpass the goal."

The money will be used to help the Screaming Eagles expand their organization and build athletic fields for the athletes as well as an indoor facility. To see the support shown by the members of the community means a great deal to the Bowers and the Screaming Eagles.

"Our community is a special place," said Jenny, who is the president of the Screaming Eagles. "We have just been blessed by the incredible amount of support here at the high school to include us in their Winter Giving project and even beyond that to community leaders here in Chapin, in the Irmo area, and all over that have blessed us with the opportunity to speak with them about our organization and even have offered us things that we're going to be looking at for the future in 2018."

Haywood said the Chapin High student government has partnered with the Screaming Eagles for a couple years now volunteering to help athletes on the field. This past summer, students decided to help raise funds for the organization by selling shirts and collecting money at football games. For Haywood and the rest of the student body, being able to help the Screaming Eagles reach their goal is something they'll never forget.

"Probably the most noticeable part was the emotion," Haywood said about the check presentation. "So many people just relieved and you can tell how much these people care about these kids and about this field. Just to see Mrs. Bowers and the Screaming Eagles and all the feeder schools and just everyone involved in the Chapin community, everyone knows how big of a deal this is and how substantial of a thing this is. To see the entire community and the entire school is overwhelmed because of what we did is a pretty cool feeling."

Patrick and Jenny Bowers are both extremely thankful for the donation their organization received, but Tuesday's event may just be the tip of the iceberg for the Screaming Eagles.

"We've still got a lot more coming," said Haywood. "We're going to do big things here at Chapin. We're not done fundraising for the Screaming Eagles yet. We hope to keep branching out and reaching out to an even wider community. We're going to try to get the district in on it. So, Irmo, Dutch Fork, Spring Hill, we're going to need your help coming soon."

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.