Local Buckeye Club Helps Virgin Valley Food Bank

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A member of the local Ohio State Buckeye Club and its president, Dave Harvilack, presented a check last week to Leslie Montgomery and Gladys Smith of Virgin Valley Food Bank.Photo by Bobby Green/Progress

Mesquite’s own Ohio State Buckeyes Fan Club surprised Leslie Montgomery, director of Virgin Valley Food Bank, on Tuesday, December 20, with a $900 check to help stock community food pantries. All funds were raised by club members during the past year.

In 2010, Dave Harvilak, an Ohio native who recently moved to Mesquite, was surprised to find so many Buckeye fans living in his new home state from his home state. So he organized the Ohio State Buckeyes Club, and the membership grew rapidly.

The club gathers to watch every Buckeye game. Sometimes we meet at sports bar venues like Wedgies. We also gather at members’ homes to watch games.

The club has 30 members. “We usually have about 15 people at each game,” he says.
It has become a local club tradition for each member in attendance to drop a quarter into the club’s ceramic piggy bank whenever the Buckeyes score.

Each year the club donates the money it raises to the Virgin Valley Food Bank. Typical amounts range from $4 to $500 annually.

But it’s been a good year for the Buckeyes, so the donation jar has been unusually full. I was. The food bank raised $900 this year.

Montgomery was very surprised at the amount of money the club had given her just days before Christmas.
“I definitely support every Ohio State game,” she said.

Club member Lee Bale said, “This is the best club ever. We have a lot of fun together in the game. Dave is a great person to hold us together.”

All members, male and female, have a common Ohio state. Must be born, raised, or both in Buckeye. They get together and remember the flavors of their homeland. Some were from the same town, attended the same college, and met many years later in Mesquite, Nevada.

Vail recalled that in the 1940s, his small town in Ohio had no television and only one radio station that did not broadcast Ohio football games. The town barber put up a very tall antenna on a nearby hill. As a result, all the children and sports-minded adults gathered at the barbershop on game days to listen to the game.

“There was even a pot-bellied stove,” said Vail. “Go Back Eyes!”

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