In case you haven’t noticed, I’m going to state the obvious: Economically, times are tough.
I get irritated every time I read that some noted economist or government agency says there’s a danger of another recession. I’m wondering when the present one ended.
We certainly have felt the brunt of the hard times in McDuffie County, but through it all, I’ve noticed that our locally owned businesses and corporations have remained generous in their support of our schools, and many charitable events. I marvel at this because it would be so easy for those in positions of leadership to say, “Things are tight right now and we just can’t contribute this year.” However, they still do what they can to support our children and our community.
Lately, it has again come to my attention that while businesses generously support the Thomson High School Athletic Booster Club and those who participate in our many sports, a vast majority of the parents whose children directly benefit don’t participate at all. Recently I looked at the membership roll and fewer than 10 parents whose children play a sport at Thomson High School are listed as members of the club. This is unbelievable.
I know that some parents have joined booster clubs that raise money specifically for the activity in which their children are participants. I’m not being critical of that; however, it’s time not just to be interested in your child, but in children.
The booster club that supports all of our sports has had, undeservedly, a reputation for being a football-only club for many years. I got so tired of hearing that when I was coaching that at one time I wanted it to become just that and change its name to the Touchdown Club. I was wrong.
People who want to do the right thing have to remember that the only people in any organization who aren’t being criticized or who aren’t making mistakes are those who aren’t doing anything. Yes, I coached football here for 23 years, but I also coached track and girls golf. Never did I request funds from the Thomson High Athletic Booster Club and not receive what I needed for my athletes. This club has regularly supported the other sports, from golf to cheerleading and everything in between.
Other criticisms have been that the dues were too high. That has changed. The membership is now only $10 a year for an individual and $15 for an entire family. If you want to contribute $100 you can benefit from Bulldog Parking, but other options are available. This is a call for parents of all our athletes and our many former players to join the club. These contributions are also tax-deductible. If you are a former player and you haven’t done so, it’s time for you to give back. You benefited from this club while you were playing and might never have realized it. Now, you know.
The work of this club has primarily been done, during my association with it, by a small core of people, most of whom have had no children participating in athletics at Thomson High School. A handful of parents, with a few exceptions, have participated when and only when their kids were in school. It’s time for parents of all our athletes to step up and participate.
On Monday, for only $5 a plate, the club is having an all-you-can-eat pancake supper at McDonald’s from 5-8 p.m. Coaches and players will be there to serve. Tickets must be bought in advance, and can be purchased from any booster club member. School board member and booster member Dexter Lovins can be reached at (706) 699-0410.
The primary fundraiser for the club will be held March 24 at Belle Meade Country Club in the form of the annual golf tournament. The cost is $100 a man for three-man teams to join in a fun day that benefits a lot of athletes at our high school. Depending on the number of teams, there will be flights and prizes for first, second and third in every category. There will be a Low Country boil lunch included in the festivities, which are tentatively set to begin with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. There will be a 36-team max, so sign up early by calling the Belle Meade pro shop at (706) 595-4511. Golf, fun, food, fellowship and charity – could there be a much better combination?
Also in May, it’s time for the election of officers to the club. They are seeking new leadership in a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.
I’m calling for parents to join the club, work in its activities, and take on positions of leadership. Get off the bench and into the game. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the THS Media Center.
Call Richard Downs for membership information at (706) 836-0333.
Remember, it’s about our kids. Go Dogs!