Stallings to speak at Martin Environmental Wiregrass Football Festival - The Southeast Sun: Sports

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Stallings to speak at Martin Environmental Wiregrass Football Festival

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Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2012 3:36 pm

Former University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Martin Environmental Wiregrass Football Festival.

Also headlining this year’s event are several area restaurants, all competing to see which one can present the best tailgate food.

Collegiate football vendors will be on hand as well as the Alabama National Guard, which will offer attendees the chance to try their hands at various games of athletic skill.

The event takes place August 11, 2012, at the Dothan Civic Center, and the doors will open at 4 pm.

Included with all ticket levels is the ability to participate and vote in the “Tailgate Challenge.” Several area restaurants have claimed to have the best tailgate foods available for your football needs. This is your chance to taste them all and vote for your favorites. All ticket holders may also participate in the Strategy6 Trivia Challenge at 6 p.m., with a chance to win prizes from area merchants.

General admission tickets, which also include a balcony seat to hear Coach Gene Stallings give an inspiring speech reflecting on his life and career, are available at the Dothan Civic Center Box office for just $13. Tickets are required for anyone age 5 and older who sits in his or her own seat during Stallings’ speech. General admission tickets are also available by calling 334-615-3175.

There are also VIP tickets available, which include a delicious steak dinner by the Old Mill Restaurant, preferred-floor seating close to the stage and a meet-and-greet opportunity with Coach Stallings prior to his 7 p.m. speech. These limited tickets are $100 and can be purchased at the Saliba Family Services office or by calling The Main Event at (334) 699-1475.

For the ultimate Gene Stallings fan, there are 10 pairs of “Stallings Sponsor” tickets available for $500. A pair of “Stallings Sponsor” tickets includes two VIP dinners, a portrait with Coach Stallings, a handshake and autograph at your table and front-row seating.

Your contribution to the Family Services Center may be considered tax deductible above the cost of the dinner. These tickets are limited and sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The event’s keynote speaker, Gene Stallings, was born March 2, 1935, and is a former football player and national-champion coach. He played college football at Texas A&M University (1954–1956), where he was one of the “Junction Boys,” and later served as coach at his alma mater from 1965 to 1971. Stallings was also the coach of the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals of the NFL (1986–1989) and at the University of Alabama (1990–1996).

He was a part of Bear Bryant’s original staff at Alabama, serving as defensive assistant from 1958-1964, where he was a part of two national championships.  Stalling’s 1992 Alabama team completed a 13–0 season with a win in the Sugar Bowl against Miami and was named the consensus national champion. Stallings is currently a member of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2010.

The Saliba Family Services Center, founded by and named for the late Alfred Saliba, provides educational and human services to people living below the poverty line, as well as those trying to rebuild their lives after unforeseen circumstances. All of the money raised from the Martin Environmental Services Wiregrass Football Festival benefits the non-profit organization, which invests back into our community through a variety of programs. For more information on the Saliba Center, visit its web site at SalibaCenter.org.

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