One after one, the words of “thank you” were spoken Thursday evening by student-athletes at Ardmore High School — a show of appreciation for the support they had received from the Travelin’ Tigers during the past year.

The purpose of the Travelin’ Tigers Fund is to provide meaningful private financial support to the schools’ athletic department and make it possible for the athletic director and coaches to provide meals to student-athletes when they are playing sports away from home. 

The non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization provides meals for boys and girls in every sport in both the high school and middle school. 

Ardmore junior Dalen Hall, the starting first baseman for the Tigers’ baseball team, read a prepared speech from his cell phone with a message that came straight from the heart.

“Without your support, we would not be where we are as a school and as a team,” he said. 

Ardmore girls basketball players Christa Pickens, Essence Franklin and J’Sades Ainsworth, girls tennis player Hannah Oliver expressed their gratitude.  

As did members of the cheer and pom squad.

“Thank you for giving us good food and helping us out this year,” pom squad member Abby Wright said.

In a time when school budgets are shrinking due to state budget cuts, the Travelin’ Tigers, which works in concert with the Quarterback Club, has stepped up and taken the pressure off Ardmore high school and middle school. 

During the 2015-16 school year, the Travelin’ Tigers spent more than $18,000 providing almost 2,000 meals in support of Ardmore athletes. 

Because of drastic budget cuts for the coming school year, the club will need to provide even more support. 

The goal has been set at $30,000. 

Donations are still being accepted and are tax deductible. 

For more information, call Mike Whitson at (918) 232-5433, or emailmwhit177@gmail.com.

“It means a lot,” Ardmore senior wide receiver/defensive back Dyontre Dixon said. “We were used to eating at McDonald’s every day.”