Rocky, Moline hold contest to raise the most books during football game

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- Fans walking into Almquist Field Friday night were ready to watch the historic football rivalry between Rock Island and Moline High Schools. But they were first greeted by two others teams, each wanting fans to help them score the most points.

The reading initiatives RockTown Reads and Read Moline were collecting new books and cash donations for QC Reads. Fans could "score" points for Rocky or Moline for each book or dollar they donated.

"We came together, and said, 'What more can we do?' So we decided to combine our resources to do more for the community," says Jayne O'Brien, executive director at the Moline Public School Foundation.

QC Reads is a collaboration between Moline and Rocky. Money donated at events are used to buy books which are later handed out to kids at different events in the Quad Cities.

"The problem is that a lot of kids just don't have access to a lot of books," says Monta Ponsetto, executive director at the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation.

The volunteers at Friday's game weren't going to let anything stand in their way, not even mother nature.

"We're here for kids and whatever we can raise, we'll raise and do the best with," says Kathy Ruggeberg, assistant superintendent for the Rock Islan-Milan School District.

Volunteers were still at their posts, even as the sophomore game was called. They collected $800 at the gates, with $800 donated before the sophomore game started. Fans also donated 251 books.

Organizers called the contest a tie.

The varsity game was postponed to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.