The White Mountain Chapter recently hosted its 3rd Annual White Mountain Steak Fry, which also included ASU scholarship presentations. The registration table was crowded with hundreds of hungry Sun Devils. Along with the traditional cowboy beans and cornbread, steak was prepared to each individual’s liking and as dinner was being served, the White Mountain Country Club began to overflow with Maroon and Gold Sun Devil Pride.
While all of the activity was occurring, a silent auction was buzzing with excitement as bidders placed their offering in hopes of winning that cherished Sun Devil Football signed by Coach Kush or that weekend getaway to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. At exactly 7 p.m., an announcement echoed through the building that bidding has ended and those who won needed to claim their prize.
Once the club was filled to capacity, emcee Tim Healey, the voice of the Sun Devils, provided a warm welcome. He then introduced Jana Johnson, from the Johnson Family Trust, who presented a four-year scholarship to Luis Bonilla from Lakeside Blue Ridge High School. Another scholarship named in honor of Ted and Barb Cesarano was shared by Domonique Farr from St. Johns High School and Benjamin Maerker from Show Low High School. A huge round of applause concluded the scholarship presentation as the students were welcomed into the Sun Devil family.
Tim continued the program by introducing a panel of former Sun Devil athletes including Jeff Van Raaphorst, “Jumpin” Joe Caldwell and Steve Bush. Each player swelled with pride as they spoke about their experience as an ASU student athlete. “Jumpin” Joe shared his happiest moment in sports as he spoke about what it was like to receive a gold medal in the Olympics. Jeff Van Raaphorst spoke about his experience as the MVP quarterback in the 1987 Rose Bowl victory against Michigan. Finally, Steve Bush shared with enthusiasm his experience of playing football in front of a home crowd of 70,000 in Sun Devil Stadium.
Then it was time for the live auction.A signed enlarged photo of Coaches Frank Kush, Dennis Erickson, Herb Sendek and Clint Myers was up for bid. Since this is a rare photo the bidding was intense. People from all corners of the room were yelling their numbers. The bidding ended with a very happy Sun Devil sports fan. Next, a date with Sparky was ready for bidding. After a one on one battle for who will win Sparky, a proud Sun Devil father will have Sparky host one of his son’s little league baseball games. Finally an exquisite piece of jewelry, a Sparky made with diamonds and rubies was available for the highest bidder. This proved to the highlight of the live auction as the price soared into the thousands. At the end one lucky person was wearing the beautiful piece for all to see.
The evening concluded with a few words from coaches Charlie Turner Thorne, Herb Sendek, Noel Mazzone and Clint Myers. All of the loyal Sun Devils were given a special treat from the coaches as they shared their thoughts for the upcoming season. Tim Healey thanked everyone for coming to the White Mountains and a roaring applause indicated the event was a true success.
Dan Turbyfill ‘95
Special Events Manager at the ASU Alumni Association