A group of Gainesville residents have created a fundraiser to hang a huge banner on a downtown building honoring area native and former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The website www.dw4project.com and an accompanying video explaining the fundraiser — which aims to raise $4,900 — began circulating on social media Tuesday evening. According to the website, the banner will be 1,300 square feet and feature an illustration of Watson’s face along with the phrase “hometown hero.”
“Deshaun has been such an inspiration to this entire city, and we wanted to come up with a big way to express our gratitude,” the video states.
According to another Facebook post shared by the fundraiser’s creators, the project had collected $3,500 as of noon Thursday.
Watson guided the Tigers to a national championship against previously undefeated Alabama on Jan. 9, and he mentioned Gainesville in a postgame interview. He also led Gainesville High to a 2012 state football championship.
Red Elephants coach Bruce Miller on Wednesday said he knew little about the fundraiser but was not surprised to see the people of Gainesville celebrating Watson’s achievements.
“This town loves Deshaun,” Miller said. “He’s a legend here already.”
According to the video, all excess funds will be given to Hall County Habitat for Humanity, with which Watson has worked extensively. The North Georgia Community Foundation will process all donations made to the website.
The fundraiser’s organizers have already received approval from the owner of the building located at 111 Green St., according to the fundraiser video. They also have a crew of installers and lifts to hang the banner once sufficient funds have been received.