Wow! Parents of athletes, did you read the article in last week's paper written by Damian Mulinix regarding Ilwaco Sports Boosters? If not, you need to find a paper and read it. Sports Boosters has been an integral part of the athletic program at the Ilwaco Jr./Sr. High School for many years. Started by a group of parents who understood that the school district could not fund every athletic need, the Sports Boosters became an organized, energetic group working for student athletes and coaches. Now, it appears Sports Boosters is struggling to find volunteers and is considering becoming a scholarship giving organization only.

What has Sports Boosters done in the past - well, they wrote and received a grant for the track, they provided money for the weight room equipment and facility upgrades, they provided funding support for the concession stand at the Long Beach baseball fields, they purchased thousands of dollars of sports equipment and uniforms, they helped students with their pay-to-participate fees, they helped teams get to State tournaments, and they awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships. They have been able to do this because of the many volunteers over the years who had the foresight to start this wonderful organization. They have done all this with little effort by tapping into our local community resources like baseball tournaments, Kite Festival, Rod Run, and by hosting the annual Crab Feed. The local Sports Boosters group has been the envy of many other groups across the state because they have utilized resources available and have not had to organize several smaller fundraising events throughout the year. How do I know this? I was the treasurer for Sports Boosters for four years, two of which were after my kids had all graduated. So you don't have to be the parent of an athlete to get involved.

I want to encourage you to contact Mike DeSimone or Mary Goelz, two key volunteers in the Sports Boosters organization who need your help. As a former School Board member I understand the value of parent support groups like the Sports Boosters who want better opportunities for our kids. It's a group where you can donate any amount of time you have available and you'll have fun while you're doing it. Some of my fondest memories are the hours and days I spent working in the Sports Boosters booth at Kite Festival, serving their famous clam chowder and listening to the people at the grill yell "four up."

Don't let this organization disappear. Donate a few hours for our student athletes and in the process find out how much fun it is and how rewarding it can be.

Cheri Jones

Ocean Park

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