Recent budget cuts to school sports programs have spurred groups like Kings Park Youth to take action in the form of fundraising to help make sports that were eliminated at the middle school level available.
Members of KPY met Monday evening to establish a fundraising plan for the $27,400 needed that would allow them to sponsor four additional middle school teams for the upcoming school year. Those teams include softball, baseball, football and cheerleading.
According to Glenn Chiuchiolo, secretary of KPY, “We have the approval of the district and the board to put these teams on the field.”
To date, KPY has raised $9,000 towards the $27,400 goal through fundraising efforts through events like an annual picnic, direct donations and a Sports Authority giveback program.
KPY president Charlie Leo said, “It was difficult to give the school money. We had to jump through hoops.”
Chiuchiolo believed this was due in part to the board's nervousness that the organization would not be able to raise all of the money.
According to Chiuchiolo, KPY’s original thought was to sponsor second teams for football and baseball only. To be in compliance with a federal law known as Title IX, additional teams that were open to girls were added.
“Title IX (the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions) requires two girls teams, so after discussions, we decided to add softball and cheering,” Chiuchiolo said.
To date, KPY has raised $9,000 towards the $27,400 goal. $5,500 was raised at KPY’s annual picnic, $1,500 from their recent Sports Authority giveback, and $2,000 from direct donations.
At Tuesday evening's school board meeting, KPY plans on presenting their first check towards sponsoring these teams in the amount of $13,400.
KPY will be laying out $ 4,400 from their reserve to offset this first payment. They will need to fundraise to pay it back.
Planned fundraisers include guest bartender nights, parent faculty association style dinner/dance, a golf outing, Sport’s Authority givebacks, Tupperware givebacks, a Texas Hold’em night, a Chilli’s/Applebees donation night, and a fall run/walk.
Committees were established to work on these events.
The goal is to raise all necessary money by March 1, 2012.
Leo said if the goal is not met by that time that KPY has additional funds.
“KPY has $58,000 in reserve and if need be it can be dipped into to. We can replenish it.”
“Whatever gets loaned, will be paid back,” Leo explains. “KPY funds will not suffer.”
KPY is committing to this four team sponsorship for this year only. “Everyone in this room has a sixth grader going into seventh, or a seventh grader going into eighth,” explained Chiuchiolo.
The organization would have to address this issue again next year. “We would need people to step up next year to organize this,” Chiuchiolo said.
KPY plans to discuss the issue of middle school late buses, which have been cut from the budget, with the district's superintendent, Dr. Agruso. The organization plans to hold another meeting in early September.