The impact of Bonnaroo’s cancellation is being felt by a local Tullahoma sports team as they look for other ways to fund their team.
With this year’s Bonnaroo officially canceled, it will impact Coffee County in more ways than one. Several community organizations used Bonnaroo as an opportunity to raise funds for their groups.
One of these groups that it will feel the impact is the Tullahoma Takedown Club.
Tullahoma High School Boys Wrestling Coach Al Morris said the booster club has had a booth of some sort at Bonnaroo even before he became on in 2012 as coach.
“My first year here we were able to get [a drink tent] and an ice truck,” said Morris.
Since then, the Tullahoma Takedown Club has sold drinks and ice at Bonnaroo as their main fundraiser but with the festival’s cancelling this year due to COVID-19, they have to change course.
“We’re going to have to, unfortunately, probably try to do more sales type stuff within the community, through families and corporations now since we don’t have Bonnaroo,” said Morris.
Morris noted the Bonnaroo tent was the club’s largest fundraiser of the year.
“It was probably 75 to 80 percent of what we fundraise throughout the year so it’s a huge loss to us,” said Morris.
Morris said they were hoping to buy two new wrestling mats for their gym but without the Bonnaroo tent income, they will not be able to do so. According to Morris, the two mats will cost around $22,000.
“Basically, Bonnaroo supported us throughout the year,” said Morris, “That was some money we were counting on this year and it didn’t quite happen for us.”
The club recently put in a little over $10,000 worth of wall pads in their wrestling facility.
Before the announcement, Morris said they were able to work a plan to raise funds for the year.
“I’m not sure exactly what we got in the works but we got several different things,” said Morris.
Fortunately, the wrestling team has supporters that are trying to help. One parent had the idea of them working with a group outside of town.
“We got a good booster club that constantly tries to reach out and fundraise for us,” said Morris.
Morris said the club will have to change the game now as the upcoming season approaches and the boys and girls team will be making a few trips which they will need to stay overnight.
“We mainly have to concentrate now on this coming season because we travel a lot,” said Morris. “Our bus drivers for our schools are actually increasing the price, so it’s kind of a bad time for everything.”
The Tullahoma Takedown Club hopes to continue to receive support from the community and wants to show appreciation.
“If we could ever help out in any way; if we could help out with muscle power or anything like that, we would be glad to,” said Morris.
Anyone who wants to know how they can help can email the Tullahoma Takedown Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle Murphy may be reached at email@example.com.