The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching effects for high school student/athletes, coaches and administrators, and high school Boosters clubs have not been spared from the carnage.
Each year the Boosters donate thousands of dollars to benefit sports programs, funds used for new uniforms, transportation, etc. Additional funds for coaches’ stipends and other expenses are provided by the school district. Gate receipts from games are also a big source of income for athletic programs.
With the onset of the pandemic in March, the Healdsburg High School Boosters have taken a big hit with an inability to raise additional money.
Each year thousands of dollars are generated as a result of golf tournaments, dinners and other special events but have been shelved since the spring due to strict country health guidelines.
Sports programs have not been the only department to take a hit, with Boosters money also used for many other school needs.
“The HHS Greyhound Boosters have been averaging about $50,000 per year for the past 10 years to the 17 HHS sports, and $3,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors each year,” HHS Boosters Co-President Kim Thompson said. “Unfortunately, this year (ending in June), we were only able to give $25,000. This is due to a lot of our fundraisers being scheduled after the shelter in place order took affect in March.”
The largest HHS Boosters fundraisers include the annual golf tournament in May ($8,000-$12,000), FFA Fair Corn Dog Booth ($4,000-$7,000), HHS Car Show ($1,000) and the Corn Dog booth on the 4th of July ($1,000-$2,000), all of which were cancelled. Boosters funds given out to sports teams during the last school year came from club membership fees, football and basketball snack shack concessions and the reserves the club had for “a rainy day."
Given the current state of the pandemic, the HHS Boosters is debating the ethicacy of sending out its annual membership pledge.
“With hard times happening for many people and businesses, and sports postponed to at least the first of the year, we do not want to draw any negative attention to the HHS sports programs or the Boosters during these times,” Thompson noted.