By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH – The Algonquin Booster Club is launching a new fundraising campaign in which people can purchase bricks for the path leading to the main entrance to the school’s athletic fields.
Booster President Tom Spataro introduced the campaign during a Sept. 14 Regional School Committee meeting.
According to the Booster Club’s website, a 4×8 brick costs $100 and an 8×8 brick costs $250.
School Committee reviews sponsorships programs
The Sept. 14 discussion was part of a larger review by the School Committee of the Booster Club’s sponsorships.
Several years ago, the Booster Club looked for ways to raise funds more easily.
“Because as you guys know and anybody that’s been a part of it, it can be a lot of work to run clinics, to run banquets, to raise funds and go door-to-door just to raise funds so you can get uniforms or new equipment or improvement on some of the facilities,” Spataro said.
Booster Club fundraising joins district-budgeted funds, gate receipts and athletic fees in collectively supporting and paying for aspects of Algonquin’s athletics programs.
Local businesses support Booster Club through sponsorships
The Booster Club met with the School Committee to work on policies, partly to make sure the club was following correct procedures when hanging up banners, for example.
According to a spreadsheet in the committee’s agenda, places like the back of the school’s bleachers are acceptable locations for sponsorship banners.
During the meeting, the committee accepted $5,000 from Avidia Bank to sponsor Algonquin’s baseball scoreboard and sign. They further accepted $10,000 from Main Street Bank to sponsor the concession stand and $15,000 from Rafferty Law to sponsor a golf event.
A lot of businesses stepped up to support the Booster Club’s fundraising efforts prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spataro said.
However, he continued, they lost about 12 sponsors when the pandemic hit. He estimated that the Booster Club now has eight sponsors.
“It was a key way for us to raise funds because we couldn’t do the golf event that got canceled,” Spataro said of continuing sponsorships during the pandemic.
‘I’m concerned about so much money going in one direction’
Regional School Committee member Kathleen Howland noted that other organizations, like parent teacher organizations and the music boosters, are fundraising. She asked about ways to avoid excluding those other fundraising efforts.
“I’m concerned about so much money going in one direction and any limitations that might be on fundraising because they are left selling cookies and cakes and candy bars as the usual,” Howland said.
She added that maybe these other organizations needed to consider high-fundraising events like golf events.
“I’m wondering in what degree there’s a consideration in sponsorship monies for other needs in the school district,” Howland said.
“I look at it and say, the more the merrier,” Spataro said. “We’re raising money for the high school at the end of the day. If other people want to join, we’re definitely not going to turn them away.”
During the meeting, Athletic Director Mike Mocerino thanked the Booster Club “for their continued involvement in the athletic program.”
“We can always count on the Booster Club to help us out, and with this level of commitment and support in place, it’s no surprise to see Algonquin athletics experience such tremendous accomplishment on and off the field,” Mocerino said.