The 41st annual Ohio State University Alumni Club of Richland County’s "Beat Michigan - Buckeye Bash" will be Nov. 21 at the Mansfield Liederkranz, 1212 Silver Lane.
The OSU vs. Michigan game is Nov. 26 in Columbus so this is the place to show off your scarlet and gray and team spirit for the Ohio State football team.
The Buckeye spirit will come alive as the doors open at 4:45 p.m. A meal will be served from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Past Ohio State football players, including former All-American Chimdi Checkwa, Captain Bryant Browning and starter Marcus Hall will share memories of Beat Michigan Week. Other highlights are Buckeye music, live and silent OSU item auctions, $10 and $15 goodie bags, Buckeye trivia, 50/50 drawing and “drop a ticket” activities.
The Buckeye Bash is the major source of income for the OSU Alumni Club’s scholarship funds and club outreach. By donating to and/or participating in this community event, Buckeye fans can pay it forward and help support future “Buckeyes.” Donors of $250 or more will receive a set amount of complimentary admission tickets and a coordinating amount of meet and greet tickets for the former OSU football players.
Judy Villard Overocker, Buckeye Bash chairperson, said the event has raised on average more than $5,000 a year in past years.
"Our endowment is earmarked for students to go to OSU-Mansfield but this event supports students with scholarships going to some of the other OSU campuses. Our goal is 200 people and we can't take everybody since there is limited seating," she said. "It's a fun event. It's held to help support future Buckeyes."
Overocker said she tries to never miss a Bash. She said the first Bash she attended as an alumni she was pregnant with her first child Jennifer who is now 36.
"The Buckeye Bash is a licensed event. No one else can have it outside of Franklin County except us because we're grandfathered in," Overrocker said.
Linda and Yo Mills of Ontario never miss the local Buckeye Bash and this year will attend their 41st Buckeye Bash, where Linda also volunteers to help with the 50-50 tickets.
Linda Mills Buckeyes fan
Linda Mills said she has loved being a Buckeye since 1970 when she was sitting in "The Shoe."
"Hearing the rumble of the drum cadence as The Best Damn Band in The Land roared through the tunnel, I was hooked. The louder the crowd cheered, the higher my goosebumps raised," she said.
For the next 30 years she never missed a home football game, and once she married Yo, she said he was thrilled to join her.
"We also traveled to 10 away games including a couple bowl games," Linda said.
Linda Mills graduated from OSU in 1974 with degrees in dental hygiene and sociology.
"My time was well spent allowing me a 45-year career as a dental hygienist (hence the nickname 'Flossie,'" she said.
She said Yo was an All-Ohio football star from Madison and went on to have success at Georgetown, although he always dreamed of playing at Ohio State under Woody Hayes.
Mills said she made her first mission trip with Crossroads Church to Cambodia Asia's Hope and she re-prioritized her life, knowing the amount of money they spent on football tickets and tailgating would be better utilized orphaned, at-risk children.
"So for the last 12 years we have been content to host family and friends for the weekly game watch," she said. "I still love the Buckeyes but I love Jesus more."
She's enjoyed being a lifetime OSU alumni member.
"Woody Hayes emphasized, 'paying it forward,' and reminded us that, 'you win with people,'" she said. "These are mantras that I adhere to daily."
Richland County Buckeye Bash history
The event initially was held at the Renaissance Theatre with both OSU and Michigan fans.
In 1981, as president of the newly formed Ohio State Alumni Club of Richland County, Dick Walters and others began a new tradition when he organized the Buckeye Bash as an instrumental scholarship fundraiser. In 1987, he was key in creating the Richland County Scholarship Endowment.
The cost per ticket is $25 and includes the meal. For tickets, contact Judy Overocker, extension educator at the OSU Extension office, 1495 W. Longview Ave., Suite 206, or by calling 419-747-8755. Seating can be reserved for groups of eight. The meal includes shredded chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, tossed salads and beverages.
This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: 'Buckeye Bash' is major source of income for club’s scholarship funds.