Ringgold High School/Ringgold Middle School Athletic Relief Fund is collecting donations through Northwest Georgia Bank.
"We are in desperate need right now," said Ringgold High School athletic director and head football coach Robert Akins. "There's no gift too small. Anything people could do to help us rebuild for the kids' sake would be greatly appreciated."
He said the fund has already raised about $12,000 for Ringgold athletics, but a lot more is needed.
On Heritage Field May 21 at 11:30 a.m. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High, Heritage High and Ringgold High schools will play in the annual spring football full-gear intersquad game. All proceeds will benefit Ringgold athletics. Parking is $3 and admission is $5. A donation box will be on-site as well.
"The middle school athletes cannot get into their building so we need everything for them," said Akins. "A lot of people are selling wristbands to benefit Ringgold athletics. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School and Heritage High School students are selling T-shirts to benefit our athletics as well."
Akins said the Ringgold baseball field has a lot of damage and the sprinkler system must be replaced. He said the tornado destroyed three weight-lifting racks valued at $2,000 each.
"We will have to take the surface off the fields and resurface the fields," he said. "The uniforms that got wet are ruined. Microbes get into material and mats and cause a great risk of infection. The uniforms for middle school sports were destroyed, but we recovered most of our football equipment and some cheerleading uniforms."
He said 50 to 60 percent of athletic uniforms were recovered.
"I've tried to be proactive and talk about summer practices," said Akins. "We've looked at the possibility of playing at Finley Stadium. I don't think we will be able to get on our field in the fall."
• Mail donations made payable to RHS/RMS Athletic Relief Fund to Northwest Georgia Bank P.O. Box 789, Ringgold, Ga., 30736.
• Those interested in helping rebuild Ringgold's athletic programs can contact coach Robert Akins at Heritage High School at (706) 937-6464.