Community supports Cougars

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    By Brandon Olson

    Members of the BYU football team, accompanied by men”s athletic director Val Hale, gratefully received a $175,000 donation yesterday from the Utah Valley Home Builders Association after the sale of the fourth annual Cougar House.

    The $175,000 donation will provide athletic grant-in-aid for the members of the BYU football team”s starting offense this fall.

    Dale Lewis, co-chair of the UVHBA Cougar House Committee, said the decision to fund the scholarships of the football players was a way to show their support for the team.

    “BYU football has created an incredible legacy of success, a legacy that Gary Crowton is poised to continue,” Lewis said in a BYU news release. “The people who build homes in this valley want to be a part of continuing that success. We want the players and the university to know that we are behind them 100 percent.”

    The remainder of the proceeds from the sale went to the BYU athletic department, bringing the four-year grand total contributed to the department to nearly $550,000.

    “The saying ”Thanks a million” really takes on new meaning,” Val Hale said during the grand opening ceremony.

    “The annual funding provided by their endowment has sponsored scholarships for some of our most outstanding and deserving student-athletes,” Hale also said in the news release. “What they”ve done by sponsoring our offense this season has taken a great relationship to a whole new level.”

    Sophomore BYU quarterback John Beck said this is his first experience with the Cougar House project and was amazed to see the enormous contributions from community members.

    “It”s the community that”s doing this, not BYU,” Beck said. “No other college does this. I think it”s a special thing to know that we have such great fans.”

    The 4,542 square-foot Orem house comes from the combined effort of the UVHBA, the BYU Cougar Club and Ercanbrack Farms” Legacy Development.

    “As competitors in this industry, we can all get together and create something like this,” said Mitch McCuistion, UVHBA Cougar House Committee co-chair. “It”s a representation of a dream turned into reality.”

    The dream of a fourth house became a reality through the various donations and contributions of more than 60 members and member companies of the UVHBA. The most notable donation came from the Ercanbrack family who donated the lot where the house is located.

    The lot was once part of the Ercanbrack farm, which has been there for nearly 100 years.

    Morris Ercanbrack, a long-time Orem resident, said this was an opportunity to give back to the community.

    “I moved to Orem in 1938 and went to school with LaVell Edwards from the second grade up,” Ercanbrack said in the news release. “We”ve always been Cougar fans. Donating this improved lot felt like a way our family could make a major contribution to the Cougars and to our community.”

    At the end of the ceremony, the Ercanbrack family was presented with custom No. 4 BYU football jerseys with “Cougar House” embroidered on the back. When Ercanbrack held up the jersey to his short, stocky figure, he joked that it looked more like a dress.

    “You might want to change the size on this,” Ercanbrack said. “It”s too small.”

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