April 18, 2014

Citizen of the Week: Kacee Smith of the Georgia Rampage

The Daily Citizen

— When the Georgia Rampage became Dalton’s first professional indoor football team last year, it would have been easy for the owner and players to focus only on drawing attention to themselves as they tried to build up the team’s following.

Instead, owner Kacee Smith has repeatedly steered the organization to pass some of the focus on to other deserving groups. Pamela Cudd of the City of Refuge, which serves homeless and needy individuals in Whitfield County, said Smith came to her before the football team ever made Dalton its home.

“They approached us and came down and did a tour of City of Refuge and were just overwhelmed at all the services that we provide,” Cudd said. “They were very adamant ... that they wanted to give back in this community and they wanted to serve an agency that serviced this local area and met the needs of impoverished residents.”

Cudd said those efforts kicked off with food contributions that have been going strong ever since. At times, members of the organization provide food donations on their own, but they also promote awareness at games and in the community to increase what they’re able to give, she said.

“At Christmas they helped to provide for our families and children and our homeless population food for the Christmas party,” she said.

The Rampage has also teamed up with the Miracle League of Whitfield County to give young players a moment in the limelight. The Miracle League is a youth baseball program for children who cannot participate in regular recreation leagues because of physical or mental disabilities.

At all Rampage home games this season, a player from the local Miracle League gets to go on to the field and score his or her own touchdown after the first touchdown for the home team. The plays don’t count on the scoreboard, but they count for the kids and their families.

Today for a little extra fun, at halftime of the Rampage game against the St. Louis Attack there will be an Easter egg hunt on the turf hosted by Mount Vernon Church.

Also, Hunter Culvert, a Make-A-Wish Foundation child from Calhoun, will call the first offensive play of the game. Hannah Locke, a junior at Coahulla Creek High School, will deliver the game ball. Locke was severely injured in a car wreck last year and has had to undergo months of rehabilitation to become mobile again. There will be a fundraiser at the game to help pay for her medical expenses.

The game begins at 7 p.m. at the trade center.

All these efforts of the Rampage and its owner deserve thanks and recognition. For his ongoing work through the team to benefit the community, The Daily Citizen names Kacee Smith Citizen of the Week.