Membership is comprised of men and women spanning many professions and who are former VUU football players, coaches, athletic trainers, cheerleaders, and loyal supporters of the university. Members offer mentoring, motivational, and life skills counseling to football players. Burning Sands partners with community organizations on special projects, and volunteers with other programs within the university.
We utilize membership dues and proceeds from the sale of merchandise and apparel, raffles, and our annual golf tournament to ensure that there are adequate funds to support our mission.
Since its inception, Burning Sands has donated over $100,000 for football scholarships and other athletic needs such as weights for the team’s weight room; food for football recruits and their parents; motivational boards in the locker room; bleachers for the home and visitor sides of the football stadium; and tuition costs for football camps. Burning Sands has assisted other university programs by providing meals/refreshments for the marching band during out-of-town trips; donating dress attire to the VUU Student Clothes Closet; giving monetary support for improvements to the softball field; procuring sheds for athletic programs; and purchasing washers and dryers for the athletic department.
With fundraising efforts stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — our signature golf tournament fundraiser was cancelled — our 2021 priority was to create a permanent endowment for awarding scholarships to VUU football players. The Burning Sands Alumni Football Foundation launched a Lifetime Membership initiative in January to raise the $25,000 required to establish an endowment at the university, and invest in it annually to grow the perpetual fund. Establishing permanent endowment would ensure that football scholarships are available and that VUU football players remain competitive both on the field and in the classroom for generations to come. We are encouraged by the response to this campaign and anticipate reaching $100,00 within the next five years!
While members maintain a presence on the university’s campus, the Burning Sands Alumni Football Foundation is also actively engaged with community organizations. During the 2019 football season, Burning Sands hosted a weekly hour-long live radio broadcast recapping the Saturday game and featuring interviews with VUU coaches and other guest administrators. This call-in format reached listeners from all over the United States and served as a recruitment tool.
In March 2021, Burning Sands partnered with The Continental Societies of Richmond and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by participating in the virtual Read Across America with Richmond Public Schools students. Members were linked into classrooms to read to Richmond elementary students ranging from pre-K through 4th-graders.
The Burning Sands Alumni Football Foundation is currently engaged in a clean-up campaign through the Richmond Clean City Commission's "Adopt-A-Street" program to keep chosen areas cleared of litter. Our chosen areas are the three streets that form the “triangle” that encompass Hovey Field — Lombardy Street, Admiral Street, and Brook Road.