Ruby Ward, owner of Rubie’s gift shop in Crow Agency, has taken it upon herself to raise funds in an effort to provide the Lodge Grass cross-country teams with matching uniforms.
This self-enduring initiative transpired after Ward noticed a Facebook post by a parent of a Lodge Grass athlete, stating parents’ dismay over Lodge Grass teams’ dissimilar uniforms.
With a spark of motivation, Ward proceeded to devise a fundraising plan for Lodge Grass Junior High and High School.
“When we went to a meet, all [the athlete’s] uniforms were mismatched,” Parent Dorothy Pretty On Top said. “Some parents were upset and Ruby came to the rescue.”
With the aid of community-spirited individuals, Ward accumulated more than $720 to fund the project. One group among many individuals assisting in the effort was the Valley of the Chiefs District of the Crow Legislative Branch, who donated $500 toward the cause.
The uniforms arrived at Rubie’s last Thursday and were personally delivered by Ward to the student-athletes.
“I figured, ‘Why should the kids go without these?’” she said. “So I went and decided to raise funds for them.”
Her inspiration is escalated by her personal experiences as a Lodge Grass athlete. Her concern for students and athletes also impelled her, saying new, corresponding jerseys would provide morale and encouragement.
“I just want to see those kids happy,” Ward said. “I want them to know there’s a lot of people out there who care.”
Ward, a 1993 graduate of Lodge Grass High School, was a four-time individual Class B state champion.
“Since I went to school there, we’ve never had that problem before,” she continued. “Until these recent years, kids are always being left out and they’re trying to do their best to be in sports.”