Parking At A Premium
The Calhoun High School Athletic Booster Club in Port Lavaca, Texas sells reserved parking spaces for CHS home football games as a quick and easy fundraiser. All of the $3,300 raised is earmarked for the school's scholarship fund.
By Kellie Whitaker
President, Calhoun High School Athletic Booster Club
Calhoun High School
Port Lavaca, Texas
At our school parking for our home football games is at premium. We needed a way to come up with some easy money, so I said, let's charge a fee for prime parking spaces as a fundraiser.
I've worked in a few school districts in Texas and saw another school do it. So when I took over the Calhoun High School Booster Club it was one of my first suggestions. I've been at this school district for six years. I'm also a coach for girls' powerlifting, girls' basketball, and boys' and girls' track and field. My husband, Richard, is the Athletic Director and head football coach.
This is our third season selling premium parking and we have increased sales every year. We are very lucky we get a certain amount of spots from the school district. We have 33 spots this year, up from 20 the last two seasons.
We charge $100 for the season, which comprises five home football games. We haven't increased the price for the last three years. Payments are accepted by either cash or check. This year, with 33 parking spaces, that amounted to $3,300. We earmark this money just for our scholarships.
The first year we did it we didn't get a really great response. We didn't advertise it that much. And we didn't know how well it would go over. We had 20 spaces reserved and sold 10.
Then the second year we sold all 20 spots because people began to realize our school has a very small parking lot, there aren't many parking spaces, and these spots are real close to the football stadium. Most people tend to park very, very far away.
The high school is across the street from the stadium and we have a bus that brings people over to the stadium due to the distance. People who don't really want to get on a bus, or those who don't want to walk or are unable to walk began to understand that this was a very good deal. Our reserved parking spots are the closest ones to the front of the stadium gate that you can get.
We assign people a number and a designated spot. To mark the lot, we took some small plastic pickle buckets and filled them with concrete and placed some PVC piping with corrugated plastic signs on them inside the buckets. Then we put stickers and numbers on the signs that inform everyone that the spots are reserved. The buckets weigh about 30-40 pounds.
We also provide a piece of laminated cardstock paper to each individual that has their name along with CHS Athletic Booster Club Reserved Parking Spot number on it. We decided to do that instead of using decals because some people don't take the same vehicle to every game. These are then placed inside the dashboard of the car.
Our athletic trainer and his student assistants place the buckets on the designated spots before the games. We have volunteers and parents remove them afterwards and place them in storage. Maintenance workers make sure that people are parked in the right spots during games.
After every season we call the people who had reserved parking and ask them if they want to renew their spot. Everybody that had a reserved spot last year wanted it again this year. We didn't have anybody decline.
Towards the end of July I place an ad in our hometown newspaper that comes out twice a week. It basically tells everyone about the reserved parking spots and how to get them when they pick up their reserved football tickets. We get a 50 percent discount on the advertisements. I usually run two ads a year, so it costs us about $100. The rest is just word of mouth because it's such a small community.
When the reserved football tickets go on sale in the second week of August, I place a flyer near the ticket booth that has my name, email address, and phone number and a brief description about the reserved parking spots. The reserved tickets are on sale for just two weeks.
We have handicap parking that extends around the fence line of our football stadium. So there is never an issue or a conflict with the reserved parking and how it may affect someone with a disability.
The parking spaces have become a hot commodity. The people who purchased them this season have already told us to make sure we give them first crack next year.