Booster clubs give support to students
When it comes to boosters of Baldwin High School activities, Baldwin has two strong teams the Baldwin Band Boosters and the Bulldog Booster Club.
Both groups organize fund-raisers throughout the year. Both attend home sporting events, offering the latest in Bulldog apparel and accessories. Both are comprised of parents and fans of the Bulldogs.
Most of all, both groups support students.
The band boosters
The Baldwin Band Boosters are lending a paw to Baldwin High School band students, the pom squad and 11 chaperones, who will be flying to Florida in the spring to perform and, of course, ride the rides at Disneyworld.
At an anticipated $700 a person, a lot of fund raising is going on. The band boosters would like to pay the way for all the chaperones, and have set a goal of raising $8,000. Exceeding the goal would allow the band boosters to help the students whether it be providing a little spending money or helping some afford the trip.
Betty Bullock, band booster president, said about $3,000 has been raised to date. The boosters want to cover all trip expenses for at least two of the chaperones Mike Gammage, the school resource officer, and Peggy Wessel, a nurse.
Gammage will provide "night duty" on the trip, and Wessel will provide any medical assistance that might be needed on the trip. The remainder of the chaperones are parents of band or pom pon members.
The anticipated date of the trip is March 31-April 3. The students will perform in a parade in front of as many as 40,000 people at Disneyworld, and then take in the rides.
"Everything is pretty much focused on getting the band to Florida," Bullock said. "Our intent is to raise enough to send the chaperones. We cannot go without chaperones. We want a ratio of one adult to eight kids."
Roughly 90 students will make the trip. They were put in charge of raising their own funds whether through a job, or parents or fund-raisers.
One of the fund-raisers organized by the band boosters that raises money for students is Rent-A-Kid. For $15, two high school students will provide an hour of work. It could be cleaning, mowing, raking, washing a car, or other odd jobs around the house. Band students who participate receive their half of the money $7.50 an hour to apply toward the Florida trip.
It's a great price for the work, Bullock said, but she said not too many people took advantage of the offer in the spring. She hopes Rent-A-Kid will be more popular this year.
"It hasn't taken off," Bullock said, mentioning Donna Curran should be called for more details at 594-2381. "I don't think people know about it. It's a bargain, and every bit of it goes to the kids."
The band boosters have added a fund-raiser to be applied to the chaperone fund the sale of concrete Bulldog paws. The paws are useful as a doorstop or stepping stones, and come in gray and purple (and easily become the paw of a Baker Wildcat when painted orange).
"It's very versatile," Bullock said of the paw. "They do look really nice."
The pre-made paws booster members have been throwing weekly "concrete slinging" parties start at $7.50. Personalized paws start at $10.
"We can put their jersey number. We can put BHS on it. If their name is short, we can do that," Bullock said of how a paw can be personalized. "We can leave them gray. We can paint them purple. There are all sorts of possibilities."
But that's not all, the band boosters also are selling "Bulldog cards" which offer discounts to several area businesses, including restaurants. A card costs $6.
"A couple of pizzas at Pizza Hut and the card pays for itself," Bullock said. "Every family should have at least two, because just when you need it, someone else has it."
Glass ornaments etched with a Bulldog are available for $10, or $12 if personalized.
"They would make beautiful Christmas ornaments, or beautiful sun catchers," Bullock said.
Students will be selling frozen food goods starting in October, with items such as ready-to-bake pies, cookie dough and burritos. The food goods will be delivered just in time for Thanksgiving.
Band boosters will earn money by staffing barricades at the Maple Leaf Festival, and also by selling Lost Trail rootbeer at the festival.
The have already raised money by running concession stands at the KU Relays where they raised $800 and "The Music Man" summer production of the Baldwin City Theatre.
When there isn't a major undertaking, such as the trip to Florida, the band boosters continue raising funds to provide water for students at parades, repair instruments, fund the spring fine arts banquet and offer other support.
"It initially started to get the uniforms," Bullock said of the band boosters. "Once the uniforms were a sure thing, it was for support."
A cross-country trip will not be an annual event. Bullock said it would be nice if a trip could be planned at least every four years, to give every high school student the opportunity to travel and perform. The last trip the group took was to Branson.
"It's been quite a while that they went to Branson," Bullock said. "We want to make it special. Most of these kids have been with Will (Cooper) since the fifth grade. This will be a special time for them all to get together."
Star Novak is a band booster who will be a chaperone on the trip. Her daughter, Katie, is on the pom squad. Both have been working hard to raise money for the trip.
"I think it is important to have a goal to work toward, and I think it is a good example for the kids," Novak said of the band boosters' fund-raising efforts. "I always like to lead by example. When they see the parents out there working, it helps to motivate the kids."
As with most volunteer groups, the band boosters are always seeking recruitments.
"We have a pretty good parent base, but we could always use more help," Novak said.
To volunteer as a Baldwin Band Booster, call Bullock at 594-2610.
The Bulldog Booster Club
Parents are also the volunteers that make up the Bulldog Booster Club. While the group isn't organizing a trip for the Baldwin High School football team to take on the characters at Disneyworld, its support of students is no small undertaking.
Through sales of Bulldog-ware and the operation of an occassional concession stand, the Bulldog Booster Club makes sure needs, such as teen-age hunger, are met at home and away games and matches.
The group supplies water at sporting events. The group makes sure students have a meal usually sandwiches and chips at away games. Veggies and fruits are provided at home track meets. And the group tries to meet a larger need every year.
"We try to help out where there is a need," said Myrna Fordemwalt, secretary of the Bulldog Booster Club. "Our whole thing is to support spirit in the community."
Last year, the boosters gave $800 toward the purchase of new mats for the weight room at Baldwin High School. Two years ago, the boosters helped purchase new track equipment for Baldwin Junior High School.
"We try to fill in what the school district can't provide," Fordemwalt said. "We let the coaches know that if they have a wish to let us know."
And although the size of a team differs with each sport, the boosters try to equally spread their support including to cheerleaders, the pom squad and debators.
"It depends on the sport and what they want," Fordemwalt said. "We try to give to each one of our sports equally."
The Bulldog Booster Club is also responsible for the events and quotes posted on the Baldwin High School message board, and also a picture collage inside the school.
The booster club meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of every month in the BHS cafeteria. The group meets on Sept. 11 this month, because of the Labor Day holiday. Newcomers are welcome to attend.
"It's a volunteer thing," said Fordemwalt. "There are a lot of parents we can't live without."
Forty-eight families signed up as volunteers at enrollment this year.
"As the years go by, we find there is more and more interest," Fordemwalt said.
Fordemwalt promises newcomers that the work is fun and she said it a great way to meet new people.
"It's fun, and it's a neat group to work with," she said. "For new people coming into town, it is especially great, because you get to meet the parents of the kids your kids are hanging out with."
And it is not uncommon for a parent to volunteer for the Bulldog Booster Club and the Baldwin Band Boosters.
"This is one wonderful town as far as support of the kids," Fordemwalt said. "I think it is phenomenal the support the parents give in this town. It tells a lot about why people want to live here."