WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (NFF Joe Tiller Chapter) — If you were a fan of Joe Tiller while he was accumulating a record of 87 victories as the head football coach at Purdue, then you might be interested in attending a special viewing of as many as 200 memorabilia items donated by Arnette Tiller (Joe’s wife) to the Joe Tiller Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
Items will be available for viewing, purchasing and bidding during a Silent Auction/Sale on Saturday, July 27, from 3 to 6 p.m., in the Feature Gym at the Cordova Recreational Sports Center on Martin Jischke Drive in West Lafayette. There is no admission charge and parking is free. The event all also feature appearances by former Purdue basketball coach Gene Keady and by university historian/author John Norberg with his new book “Ever True.”
Among the valuable items donated for auction by Arnette is the recreational vehicle the Tillers purchased, following Joe’s retirement from Purdue.
The vehicle is a 2013 Winnebago Vista Rally 26H featuring low mileage (about 8,000 miles). It is 26 feet long and is built on a Ford truck chassis and it runs on regular gasoline.
The RV is among the items delivered to West Lafayette by former Tiller player and current NFF Chapter President Kelly Kitchel, following a late spring trip to Buffalo, Wyo., to pick up the items assembled from Joe’s illustrious career. Most of the items will be available for purchase at the auction launch July 27, but a few select items will be transferred to an on-line auction later this summer and fall.
Proceeds from the sale will be Arnette’s donation to the Tiller Chapter Endowment, which was started in December following the fund-raising auction of NFL tickets donated by Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and former Boilermaker star under Tiller.
The endowment started with a “deposit” of $30,000 in late December and lives at the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, where the annual interest will be used to help support the chapter’s ongoing commitments.
“Raising enough money through the endowment to offset our annual commitments would be a tremendous relief for the chapter’s next executive director,” says Jim Vruggink, who has been in that role since the chapter started in 2004. “The fact that we’ve distributed more than $230,000 in scholarship assistance in our first 15 years as a chapter is indeed a great tribute to the generosity of our football fans in Northwest Indiana, but generating the funds to keep that pattern going is an ever-growing challenge from year to year. Having a consistent stream of funds flowing from an endowment program, would be a huge benefit.”
Currently, the chapter depends on raising money through donations, sponsorships, advertising in the annual NFF Honors Dinner program and a series of fund-raising events (golf outings, concerts, dodgeball tournaments, silent auctions and raffles).
The National Football Foundation has 120 chapters in 47 states providing recognition and scholarship opportunities for high school football players from 5,200 schools, awarding more than $1.3 million a year in scholarships and honorariums. The NFF is the sponsoring organization of the College Football Hall of Fame.