CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Just a few weeks ago it was announced that the annual Sertoma Classic, which has been the unofficial kickoff to the high school football season since 1971, would not be played this year.
The event raised millions of dollars for local charities.
So, the question is… can Sertoma be saved? The president of the club sure hopes so.
The for 48 years the event has been special for everyone involved; the players, coaches, family, fans, and cheerleaders. But, now it’s gone.
“It hurts me, really hurts to know we aren’t going to have the classic this year. Feel like I am letting down my family, my father,” said Sam King Jr., the president of Sertoma.
To him, the event means service to mankind. It means helping the community, helping kids and charities.
Sam grew up with Sertoma. His parents were both members and his father was president for the first classic in 1971.
For years Sertoma thrived. Nearly $4 million has been donated from proceeds to local charities and participating schools.
But times have changed. Dwindling membership and competing jamborees in neighboring counties are just some of the factors making it impossible to continue the classic.
“Can Sertoma be saved? I believe it can,” said Sam. “That’s why I am here. Wouldn’t be here if I thought it was 100 percent gone. We will work at it, put it that way.”
All agree, saving Sertoma will take some work. “We need people, money, and organizations.”
It’s all easier said than done. But Sam believes while the Sertoma Classic in a no-go for 2019, a new look classic may make its way back on the schedule next year.