To help defray expenses, Team Staats has launched a fundraising drive.
"To start with, we're raffling off a hog," Gail said. "I sold $100 worth of tickets [Tuesday]. The members of our church are planning a fundraising spaghetti dinner. The folks at The Great Outdoors [store] are working on a benefit 3-D [archery] shoot."
People in the Ripley area take a lot of pride in the school's archery success. Bowhunting is huge there, and folks know and appreciate the skill involved. Levi Staats grew up in Jackson County's bowhunting culture, and it helped make him the archer he has become.
"God has given him a gift [for archery]," Gail said. "He won state championships his sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade years, and he was the state runner-up each of his first two high-school seasons. We have I-don't-know-how-many trophies of his in the house. In addition to Archery in the Schools, he competes in [International Bowhunting Organization] and [Archery Shooters Association] 3-D tournaments."
In July, Levi will add "international competitor" to his list of bow-and-arrow exploits. Gail said there's a lot to do before July 21, when Team Staats' plane goes wheels-up and heads out across the Atlantic. "The problem is time. It's not like they gave us a year to get ready for this," she added.
The family's fundraising efforts will continue through the early weeks of summer.
"I've been contacted by a group called The CEOs," Gail said. "It's an organization that does things for the community. There wasn't enough time for them to plan a fundraiser, but they're considering a cash donation."
To handle potential cash donations, Gail has set up a Levi Staats fund at Premier Bank.
"Anyone who wants to make a donation for Levi can go to any Premier outlet in West Virginia, Virginia or Georgia, and the folks there will know what you're talking about," she said.
"Levi is representing his school, his town ... and the U.S. It will take a team to help him do that."