Roaring Riot Raises Thousands for Charity
CHARLOTTE -- On the surface it looks like one big, giant party. But beneath the partying and tailgating is a group dedicated to giving back.
"Obviously, the connotation of a tailgate is, 'Hey! Party, throwdown!' But there's this other facet to us, that we really want people to know, and want people to see, and be a part of," said Tim Rebich, a founding member of The Roaring Riot.
The Roaring Riot is a group filled with 2,000 Panthers fans, spread all across the nation. And while they show up and show out at every home and away game, there's more to their tailgating than just football.
This past season, the Queen City Riot, which is the Charlotte chapter, raised more than $13,000 for charity.
"The momentum we've had, and obviously with the season that the Panthers have had, really helped out. It was just a great time for camaraderie and community. So, we're hoping to only build on that going into next year," Rebich said.
One of the charities is the Isabella Santos Foundation.
Isabella died in 2012 at the age of 7, after fighting neuroblastoma for five years.
Money raised for the foundation goes toward cancer research.
"To get a trial at Levine's for one kid, is about $3,500," said Isabella's mom, Erin Santos.
Santos says she's so grateful for Roaring Riot tailgates with a purpose because any donation makes a huge difference.
"To be able to expand our reach out to the Panthers stadium in uptown, and to reach a whole new group of people, it's hard to put a price on that. So, they did a great job for us," she said.
The money raised also goes toward 'Operation Smile' and the 'Keep Pounding Foundation.'