Community rallies around Dayton Broncos at tailgate party

Sterling Funeral Home employees offer sausage on a stick at the Dayton Broncos community pep rally and tailgate party on Thursday, Aug. 16, next to the Bronco football stadium. Pictured are Tini Gault, Nic Nelson, Kim Mulkey, Linda Tate and Susan Giberson.

Supporters of the Dayton Broncos filled the parking lot next to the football stadium beside Woodrow Wilson Junior High Thursday for a community pep rally and tailgate party hosted by the Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Ambassadors.

Dayton Chamber Executive Director Paula Moorhaj said participation this year exceeded last year, with 28 businesses, organizations and churches hosting booths, and hundreds of Bronco fans turning out to show their support for their hometown teams.

Dayton Chamber Executive Director Paula Moorhaj (left) and Susan Giberson enjoy a moment in the shade during the Dayton Broncos community pep rally and tailgate party on Thursday, Aug. 16. It was a particularly hot day and both had been at the event long before it started at 5 p.m.

Dayton High School cheerleaders, football players, ROTC cadets, dancers, flag corps teammates and the marching band performed just after the event started at 5 p.m.

“We were excited to see them all perform,” Moorhaj said. “I think this year’s event went really great. People really found out about the event this year and wanted to participate.”

All proceeds go toward the Junior Ambassadors’ scholarship fund.

“This was not necessarily hosted by the chamber. It was really the junior ambassadors. I just assisted,” Moorhaj said.

The booths offered free drinks, hot dogs, purple and white Bronco cups, fans, cotton candy, cookies and other items. T-shirts also were sold to go toward the fundraiser.

Sterling Funeral Home offered free sausage on a stick and, with a little encouragement, they found some people willing to dance for their meal. Some performed the “Keke Challenge” while a few others danced to the “Baby Shark” song that has become well-known among families with young children and through social media.

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This is the second year in a row the community pep rally and tailgate party has been hosted by the chamber. Moorhaj said it was previously organized by the chamber but there was a lapse and some years were missed.

By Vanesa Brashier,


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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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