Roseburg High School athletes and coaches and others with local ties are helping out some athletes at Phoenix and South Medford high schools who lost everything last week in the Almeda Fire, which destroyed the towns of Talent and Phoenix in Jackson County.
Julie Dever, the athletic trainer at RHS, is leading the drive to collect donations of clothes, equipment and gift cards for the athletes.
“I was talking to a former athlete at Southern Oregon University (Stephanie Vandenbusch) who I know who’s a coach and teacher at Phoenix High School. She posted a GoFundMe account on Facebook for one of her softball players,” Dever said. “The need (for donations) is huge, sports equipment is expensive and I realized the need is greater than one athlete.
“I thought athletics is my spot, and I could help in a small way and contribute. For only having this out a couple of days (on the RHS Sports Medicine Facebook page), the response has been pretty good.”
The news of the wildfires which spread around the Medford area hit Dever, a 2007 graduate of SOU in Ashland, hard.
“I used to live in Talent, and to see the neighborhood gone is heart-wrenching,” she said.
Dever said Mike Bober, a longtime coach with the RHS track and field program, and his wife Pam donated gift cards.
Tony Campos, a former RHS softball coach who guides the Northwest Bullets club team during the summer, said his organization will replace all the softball gear that two Phoenix players lost.
“It’s pretty sad to see,” Campos said. “We hope to go there Tuesday and deliver everything to the girls.”
Here’s a list of needs and sizes for the athletes:
Estefania (girls soccer) — Top, medium; bottom, medium; cleats, 8.5-9.
Arely (girls soccer) — Top, medium; bottom, medium; cleats, 7.
Yareli (girls soccer) — Top, medium; bottom, medium; cleats, 7.5.
Carson (football and baseball) — Top, large; Bottom, large; needs baseball pants and workout clothes.
Aubrey (volleyball and softball) — Top, XL; bottom, large; needs shorts and workout clothes.
Ricky (football and track) — Top, medium; bottoms, medium and 29/30; shoe, 9 1/2, likes Nike black or white; needs shoes, not cleats.
Brandon (basketball and baseball) — Top, large; bottom, large; shoe, 12; needs pants, shirts, jacket, workout clothes, basketball shoes, turf cleats, sliding shorts, baseballs and a basketball.
A donation box will sit outside of the RHS main building from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the weekdays for anyone wishing to help. For more information, email Dever at email@example.com.
“The goal is to get all the stuff down there this weekend,” Dever said.