WAXAHACHIE — Survivors of Tropical Depression Harvey weren't the only ones getting generous donations before, during, or after Waxahachie's season-opening win Friday at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium.
The Waxahachie High School dance and drill team, too, received a gift valued between approximately $7,199 and $7,750 according to SLE Equipment, an online site that sells customized enclosed trailers with 7x16-foot dimensions.
"It's amazing because we have something that's just for us for our storage," Cherokee Charmers Director Erica Pointer-Wilcox. "A lot of other drill teams that go to competitions have always had a trailer. Now we finally have our own."
The Acker Home Team, a real estate company based in Waxahachie, delivered the black and green customized trailer before WISDs varsity football game.
"The trailer will help provide prop storage and assist with hauling them to games and dance competitions," she continued. "The trailer has been something that we've needed since the program has grown and begun dancing in several competitions every year. The owner of Acker Construction wanted to help the Charmers this year and we are very grateful for the generosity the company has shown. Words can not express how thankful we are to the Acker Home Team."
The idea to fill the need came from Acker Construction Owner Chris Acker, a WHS and American Institute of Building Design graduate, certified building designer, and third-generation contractor and builder with 20 years of experience in the field.
His company, in coordination with its real estate counterpart, builds customized — including multifamily —homes in Ellis County.
"He's from here and he's been very successful by his own abilities. I think he and his wife were looking for a way to give back to something that was needed and use the community to help others in a positive manner," said Leslie Armstrong, who pairs with Beth Terminella as two of the company's real estate agents. "As much as he can, he tries to use local materials for what he produces here. This was a need that arose and he wanted to help meet it."
She said though she didn't know the intimate details of the donation, someone outside of the Charmers organization reached out to either Chris or his wife, Theo Acker. Theo is an English teacher with Waxahachie ISD.
Pointer-Wilcox confirmed that Chris participated in the team's "boot backer" program and went well beyond usual donations made from year to year.
Before the donation, she, senior Captain Monica Hernandez, and the Charmers, would load more than 100 pounds of equipment into parents' trucks and school buses on game and competition days. After it, however, they'll upload and download with ease and join the Spirit of Waxahachie as trailer haulers.
"We have a lot of stuff. This year the dads are building us a stage to take to competition so we definitely needed something bigger," Pointer-Wilcox said about the difference between moving their equipment before and after the donation. "It's amazing. This was part of the boot backer program, where we go out into the community and ask for sponsorships for all the hard work and determination the girls put into the program. [Chris] definitely went above and beyond."
"I'm glad we got this because it was kind of a hassle having to tell the girls, 'Hey, let's all go load up and be squished up with all of our stuff at the back of the bus," added Hernandez, a third-year Charmer. "We didn't expect it. It's great that we don't have to worry about our stuff getting broken. It's really exciting."
Marcus S. Marion is the sports editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror. He can be reached by phone at (469) 517-1456 or across social media platforms @MarcusSMarion.