Church’s Friday night tailgate promotes community connection

photo by Cady Russell

     Friday night lights are on and the excitement for the game is infectious. In a parking lot down the street from the stadium, the smell of barbecue fills the air as children jump in a bouncy castle and music fills the streets.

     This is the Dripping Springs Presbyterian (DSPC) For Drip Tailgate, held before every home football game.

     “I love the tailgate because we get to see everyone from our church one time before Sunday, and I think that’s really nice, especially to de-stress from a long week,” junior Annette Ashby said. “It’s somewhere to go, so you don’t have to go home to be by yourself before the game.”

     The tailgate runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday nights whenever there is a home football game.

     “We wanted people to feel like they have a community, and it’s not just about one church or just one individual,” DSPC Youth Minister Zeke Griffin said. “So people are coming in, new families coming in, and we want everyone to know we are a community.”

     The tailgate is run purely by volunteers, making sure that everything, including shirts and food is free. They also hold a raffle that students can enter their favorite teacher into.

      “Students want free money, but it’s also teachers that are very deserving. Teachers and counselors deserve to have those moments, because students come, they grow up, they move on,” Griffin said.

     Griffin said that it’s nice to have teachers and counselors know of the impact they had on the student’s lives. DSPC later brings the winning teacher a large check with the winning raffle amount to their classroom to help give that teacher a little bit of a cash boost.

     “I nominated SJ [Sarah-Jane Shepperd] because she’s known us for three years, and she’s such and amazing person. I really love her. We hang out in her room every morning and she’s like a mother to all of us of sorts,” Ashby said.

     While the tailgate holds many fun things, the For Drip movement is DSPC’s bigger plan, and they hope that through the charity of the raffle they can impact the community and bring everyone together.

     “I feel like that’s what For Drip is for, we’re for everyone in our community, and if we can get everyone in our community on board, we can let that trickle out into state. Then, the state can trickle out into other states,” Griffin said. “It’s like this little ripple effect. Affect one person you affect more.”

Written by Cady Russell, Staff Writer

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