Booster club has $2,400 to go in quest to fund spring sports
By CALI BAGBY
Islands Sounder Reporter
May 7, 2012 · Updated 11:02 AM
Sun filtered through the blossoming trees and warmed the grass as golfers tried their luck on the course.
The winning score at the First Annual Coaches Team Challenge Golf Tournament was a 41 from the team of Jim Passer and Jay Resch. Other prizes were awarded for longest drive and most puts, but the biggest reward for everyone was the $1,200 raised to support the Orcas Island Booster Club.
“We are starting to plan next year's event with some changes and challenges and expect even a bigger field of players next year,” said golf coach Bobby Olmsted. “Thank you to all the participants, volunteers and everyone who donated to this first ever golf tournament fundraiser for the booster club and the golf program.”
Despite various fundraisers like the tournament, the booster club has a way to go in its quest to fund spring sports. It is $2,400 short of the $17,500 needed for transportation, officials’ fees, the athletic director’s salary and equipment fees.
But booster volunteer Justin Paulsen said fundraising efforts have been fairly successful.
“Just about every three months we have to ask for more money and it’s difficult because very organization is asking for money, but I have been surprised that it has gone as well as it has,” he said.
When winter and spring sports were cut from the school district’s budget, the booster club began an aggressive fundraising campaign raising $11,000 to fund the winter basketball program. Private donors plus a $5,000 matching grant from the Orcas Island Education Foundation made it possible. Now the club is working on funding spring sports even though softball and golf is in full swing.The baseball team is not competing because there were not enough participants. The booster club is paying for Athletic Director Sandi Harris’ salary on a month-by-month basis. The head coaches’ stipends are being funded by students’ participation fees, which are $150 per student, per sport.
In addition, Paulsen said they are looking at a “fairly sizable” fundraising campaign in the fall with sponsors who would join the booster club to help sports throughout the year.
“We want to get as much as we can in the beginning of the year so each sport will know where they stand for the whole year,” Paulsen said.
The booster club is also working with the school to see if there is some revenue from gate fees from the games.
Their target for the 2012-13 school year is $130,000. That is the base amount needed to run all of the programs. An additional $30,000 is needed to eliminate students’ fees.
It's important for the community to help fund these programs, Paulsen said, because without athletics kids are left with too much time on their hands.
“A lot of county officials have said this: if we keep kids engaged, it will keep them out of trouble,” he said. “So we are going to continue to raise funds. We’ll be pushing for that $2,400 until the end or August or until we get it. Whatever we have to raise, we will raise.”Contact Islands Sounder Reporter Cali Bagby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-376-4500.