Football season is in full swing and the cries of "Go Gamecocks" resonate at Williams-Brice Stadium on the campus of the University of South Carolina. When the Gamecocks score, so does the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. TD Bank, in partnership with the Center for Fathers and Families, is making a donation to the center each time the Gamecocks score a touchdown.
In addition to the touchdown donations, TD Bank has provided two tickets to every home game to a lucky fatherhood participant and his child. For a recent game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lionel Williams (middle) and his son Jered Williams (right) received the two tickets. Jawaan Etheridge (left), a close friend of Jered's was also able to accompany the two.
Lionel, a student at the University of South Carolina from 1982-1986, has attended several games over his lifetime, but this game in particular was extra special. "My son is a senior in high school and very busy. So those moments when we have some quality time together are few and far between," Lionel said. "For TD Bank to allow me to have that moment where we could just hang out together was just unbelievable."
Lionel has been a participant of the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition for nearly a year now. The Midlands Fatherhood Coalition is one of six fatherhood programs throughout the state supported by the Center. The programs help fathers reconnect with their children and help meet the material, emotional and spiritual needs of their children.
"Plain and simple, I would just like to say thank you to TD Bank for the tickets and the opportunity to enjoy a game with my son and his friend. I don't think they (TD Bank) understand how much this opportunity means for fathers like me, who are just trying to do the right thing, by being able to spend time and take care of my son," Lionel said. "I don't know if Jered realized the magnitude of the situation, but for me it was a very, very special night.”
The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.