Quad Cities Chooses the Cyclones
BETTENDORF, Iowa – The second leg of the 2008 Cyclone Tailgate Tour took the Iowa State contingent to the Quad Cities and for the second-straight stop Cyclone fans came out in droves. A crowd of over 1,000 strong joined the celebration at Mel Foster Realty in Bettendorf on Thursday.
The Iowa State coaches and staff had an eventful day, making stops at Hayes Elementary School, the Handicapped Development Center and The Friendly House in Davenport before heading to Bettendorf for the evening.
The morning opened with a stop at Hayes Elementary School, where kindergarten through fifth graders greeted ISU head women’s basketball coach and Davenport native Bill Fennelly, who celebrated his birthday a day earlier, with a stirring rendition of “Happy Birthday.” After a brief program, coaches and staff went into the classroom and read Hello, Cy to the children before answering a wide variety of questions posed by the students.
“It speaks highly of the people at Iowa State and what they did for our school today,” said Tom Knight, a physical education teacher at Hayes. “It was a great thing for our students and we really appreciate them coming out and visiting with us.”
After a short break for lunch, the tour continued with a stop at the Handicapped Development Center, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to plan, establish and operate programs which provide opportunities and assistance to persons with disabilities.
An educational tour of the center provided staff with the chance to interact with the disabled clients of the center, as well as view the day-to-day operations of the facility, which includes work opportunities and life skill development.
The next stop took the contingent to The Friendly House, an after school program for area children that seeks to provide support and resources to local neighborhoods.
The highlight of the visit was a half-court shot drained by men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott, which drew a rousing ovation from the nearly 75 kids in attendance. Following a short program led by Jamie Pollard, the kids had a chance to play one-on-one with the coaches and get autographs from the entire staff.
At the tailgate tour itself, fans mingled and took pictures with ISU coaches and staff while the children enjoyed playing on inflatable toys. Those in attendance had the opportunity to win great door prizes, ranging from ISU golf accessory sets to 2008-09 wrestling season tickets.
Athletics Director Jamie Pollard opened the program and urged Cyclone fans to continue the push for 1-in-10 alumni joining the Cyclone Club.
“It is really great to come here and see all the families and kids at this site,” said Pollard. “What we need to do is keep building on that like we have done. What is happening is that this is truly becoming a Cyclone State.
“A year ago we began a campaign to get 1-in-10 alumni in every county in Iowa to join the Cyclone Club and when we started we had 10 counties. After one year we have increased that to 28 counties and that is outstanding.”
Pollard also encouraged fans to pick up the new “I Chose the Cyclones” yard signs, which are available for free at each tour stop, and display them proudly.
The tailgate tour will continue June 3-6 with stops in Waterloo, Mason City and Minneapolis, Minn., respectively.