In order to offset the $3 million price tag to resurface the high school's track and install artificial turf on the football, soccer and baseball fields, Grant High's student-athletes were presented with a Team Challenge where each of the school's sports squads are doing separate fundraisers to contribute to the cause. So far they've helped raise $390,000.
By Jacque Sage
Athletic Director, Grant High School
Renovations at our playing fields and track are long overdue. Aside from the high school teams, the community leagues also use the fields. In order to improve the fields, our goal is to raise about $3 million dollars by spring.
The Friends of Grant Football were originally spearheading the fundraising campaign and their premise or idea was to not simply go out and ask for donations. So they presented the idea of a Team Challenge, in which the student-athletes go out and raise funds for the project.
There is no time or monetary limit. Each team is asked to do whatever they can to contribute in their own way to the field development. An anonymous donor will match $500 for every $500 raised by the individual high school and community league sports teams.
Each individual sport is doing its own fundraiser. For instance, the football team is doing a Lift-a-thon, the baseball team is doing a Hit-a-thon, and the track team is hosting a running event. There are also car washes and social events. The students have taken the initiative on their own.
Gordon Johnson, the Development Director for the Grant Park Improvement Project, has donated a lot of time and effort to the fundraiser. He hosted a Futsal (an indoor variation of soccer played on a smaller playing surface) three-day event last November for the soccer program, which raised about $3,000. The soccer team has also hosted soccer camps. They've raised the most money so far.
We did an all-team event to kick off the drive. We invited alumni and community members to join us for an Entertainment Night, where we had everything from our school jazz band to one-act plays. Involving the whole school helped get everyone on board.
Our students are great, and we've got great leaders. Everyone has stepped up and we've raised almost $390,000. We're excited to see our efforts come to fruition.