Voice of the Fan is where HokieCentral readers and message board posters can give voice to their opinions on Tech sports. Got something to say? Send it in to HokieCentral, and we'll consider it for Voice of the Fan. The opinions expressed in these columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the HokieCentral staff.

A Better Place For Your Refund
Nova Hokie 95, 9/25/00

Okay, so the notice FINALLY came about refunds for the BCA game that never was. After much kvetching and waiting, we have information. Fill out the form at http://www.gazellegroup.com/BCA_Bowl/Site/tixindex.html and mail that in with your ticket stub, and you'll get a check back.

But ...

There's an old saying about found money — "found money should be spent immediately." Found money, the myth goes, was left for you by faeries ... and if you don't spend it immediately, the faeries will turn it into leaves.

Okay, maybe not. But let's face it, this IS found money. You paid your money expecting to see a game ... and then even after the game was canceled, you maybe didn't really expect a refund, or were told there might not be one. And the main caveat to the debate about the BCA game as a whole was always "it's not about the money."

Now it's time to back that up, and I'm leading the charge.

This money, in my eyes, was going to Virginia Tech anyway (at least a part of it), so I plan on sending it BACK to Virginia Tech. Yep, I'm taking my found money, and spending it immediately, sending it along to the intended target. I know, I know, the BCA and The Gazelle Group have a stake in this, but Gazelle stabbed us in the back with an end-around, and I'm more concerned with VT than the BCA, noble as they may be. Besides, you can rest assured that they'll still both get their cut. As I said, I'm more concerned with an important Hokie cause.

You see, the Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship fund is NOT fully funded. According to the Hokie Club, we're only 45 percent of the way towards fully funding it (full funding requires $75,000, and the Hampton fund only has approximately $33,000). It's been open over a year, and save for HokieCentral's article a few months back, it seems to be slipping from the radar screen. I hope you agree with me that this is NOT acceptable. Marques Hampton deserves better.

(For those who don't know, Marques Hampton was a VT signee who died in a car accident on I-81 returning from his freshman orientation in the summer of 1999. A similar fund for deceased long-time Tech trainer Eddie Ferrell is, thankfully, fully funded.)

So my refund check is being turned around, and being sent right to Virginia Tech for the above scholarship fund. I know, it's only $35 ... but that's $35 more than they would have had. And if many here follow and do the same with their found money, that will add up quickly.

Let's face it, this entire chain of events has left a somewhat sour taste in our mouths, from the second that lightning bolt came down. This will take those events and turn them around into something worthwhile. That lightning bolt came down for a reason — let's make funding this scholarship the reason.

The only question that remains is how to do so. I've exchanged emails and phone calls with both The Hokie Club and The Gazelle Group, and it seems that the only way to do it is to request a refund, deposit that check when you get it and then send a check of your own along to The Hokie Club, designated for the Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship Fund. I called Gazelle and asked about having them make the refund checks out directly to VT, to cut out a step, and was told no dice. So this is the only way to do it. A bit difficult, but I can assure you it'll be VERY appreciated. (Of course, you can also send a check to The Hokie Club now, and use your refund check as reimbursement when you receive it. Only the chronology has changed.)

At the very least, please think about it. It's a way of taking a negative and turning it into a very big positive, and giving a big kick to a very deserving fund. What's more, the entire donation is tax-deductible, 100 percent, since you receive no tangible benefit for it (as opposed to your usual Hokie Club donation, which is only 80 percent deductible, as you receive ticket and parking priority, among other things).

The BCA Bowl Game was washed out. Let's not have the same thing happen to the Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship Fund. Let's finish that sucker off. When you get your refund check, write one for the same amount to Virginia Tech, and attach a note saying this is your BCA refund, and you want it to go to fully fund this worthy scholarship.

So in the famous words of John Belushi: "Who's with me!? AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

To send money to the Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship Fund, make checks payable to Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, with the words "Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship Fund" in the memo section. To be safe, I suggest also sending a letter stating clearly where you wish your funds to go (and mention in the letter that you're turning around your BCA refund for the scholarship as well). Then mail that check to the following address:

Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship
Virginia Tech Athletic Fund
P.O. Box 10307
Blacksburg, VA 24062

If you have any further questions or would like more information about donating to the fund, please call The Hokie Club at 540-231-6618. You can also visit their web site at www.HokieClub.com


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