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Community Pride Spurs Fundraising Task

By Danielle Catalano, a writer for FundraisingforSports.com.
Strong community support helps Homer High School in central New York raise funds for its new scoreboard.

"Welcome to George W. Butts Field, Home of the Trojans. Scoreboard Donated by the Athletic Booster Club."

This is what fans will most likely read as they enter the Homer High School athletic field in central New York this fall. On June 28, the school's athletic booster club donated a brand new, $10,000 Daktronics scoreboard for the district's new artificial turf sports facility.

Approximately 700 ninth- to 12th-grade students attend Homer High School. About two-thirds of them play at least one of the 27 varsity and junior varsity sports offered at the school. Each sport has its own booster club, which are overseen by the school's athletic booster club.

This 40-plus member school booster club took on the enormous fundraising effort at the end of the 2003-04 school year after the community approved a renovation of the district's football field into a multi-sport complex. The $5 million project called for an artificial turf and rubber track, but no new scoreboard since the old one—a gift from the Classes of '50-'54—worked fine.

According to Michael Carboine, Homer's Athletic Director the booster club unanimously agreed that the scoreboard needed updating, too. "We wanted to bring a sense of pride and achievement to the community, as well as to the booster club, he says. "We focused on a goal and worked hard to reach it."

The goal was simple: Raise $10,000 by the end of the following school year so a new scoreboard would be in use by the fall of 2005. The task, though straightforward, was daunting.

Hard work, weekly fundraising events, and what Carboine called "overwhelming and tremendous" community support helped the booster club reach its goal one month earlier than the target date.

The booster club spent countless hours every month coordinating schedules and working with coaches to publicize each event. Since many members of the community were involved with extracirrcular activities at the high school and attended games there, the group decided to hold most of the fundraising events there.

In a yearlong effort, the club held frequent Krispy Kreme doughnut sales; conducted 50/50 drawings during home football games; held weekly can and bottle drives; and most impressive, participated in holiday gift sales. Carboine credits community support during these times for the drive's success since this is when much of the fundraising profit was gained.

Spirit items, including T-shirts, sweaters, and caps were sold during home sporting events, but sales consistently spiked around the holidays. Lucky Calendar drives —where certain dates in each 12-month calendar contained numbers that corresponded to the state's lottery drawing, and if those numbers matched those drawn for the lottery, the recipient won money from the booster club—were the most popular fundraiser around the winter holiday season.

With the goal reached earlier than expected, Carboine and the field architect were able to work together selecting scoreboard models and sending them out to bid. Daktronics won the bid, and by the June Board of Education meeting, the booster club presented its donation.

This fundraising effort was the longest Carboine had ever worked on in his 20-plus years in education. He is appreciative of the community's involvement, and believes that the community took as much pride in obtaining the scoreboard as the booster club did. A dedication ceremony will take place during the halftime show of the Trojans first football home game to thank booster club members and to recognize the community's support of Homer High School's new sports complex.



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