The Poland All-Sports Boosters Club has mailed out brochures asking for donations last week. The club is looking to continue their efforts to make the Poland sports program the best they can be.
“The Poland All Sports Booster Club is very instrumental in helping fund athletic programs,” said Poland Athletic Director Brian Banfield. “I can't thank them enough for supplying our coaches and athletes the equipment they need to compete at a higher level. They are a great resource for Poland Athletics.”
Each year, the club holds various fundraisers designed at pulling in enough funds to assist each sport in Poland schools. In past years, the club has helped the football team by purchasing six new headsets for the coaches. They donated $4,000 to help resurface the track for the track team. They purchased new uniforms for the baseball, softball, and cross country teams. They purchased a shooting gun used by both the boys and girls basketball teams. Additional items include new nets for soccer, funds for golf equipment for the golf teams, new nets and equipment for the tennis teams, helped with the pool rental costs for the swim team, provided a dessert banquet for the middle school sports teams, and donated money for the purchase of volleyball and wrestling equipment and to pay trainers. They even replaced two Bulldog mascots and every three years purchase new uniforms for the cheerleaders. All the support requires bringing in a lot of funds as last year, the club donated well over $40,000 for athletes from seventh grade to seniors at the high school.
To raise that kind of money, the All-Sports Boosters Club has to have several good fundraisers. According to Marsha Walkama, trustee for the club, one of the big events is the Bulldog 100. This is a raffle in which 100 tickets are sold for $100 each. The grand prize is $3,500 with two $500 second prizes and five $100 third place prizes.
“The club makes $5,000 profit from the Bulldog 100,” Walkama said.
She added that the club also gets funds from an annual girls and boys, fifth and sixth grade basketball tournament and a Spring Booster Club golf outing. The mailings that went out last week is a simple request for donations.
Once the funds have built up, the club has a committee of trustees who sit down and go through the various sports and what is needed.
“A committee of trustees votes on the distribution of funds to each sport,” Walkama said. “For the most part, it is pretty evenly distributed. All sports get money.”
The club members, which number 27, also have some fun with their fundraisers. The annual raffle will be held at the Canfield-Poland football game halftime on Oct. 28.
Walkama said the club does try to do something for every Poland sports, but she feels the efforts of the Boosters go beyond just providing things.
“I think that without the donations from the All Sports Booster the Poland student athletes would not have new uniforms, updated equipment, a trainer with supplies or in some cases newer facilities,” she said. “I think in an indirect way the boosters make a difference in the way the players feel about their sport. However, I don't think the players or community members really know or understand the impact our donations have on the teams and players.”