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Local Youth Sports Group Helps to Keep Kids on the Playing Field

Kings Park Youth raises money to fund middle school teams that were lost in budget cuts.

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. 

Marc Goldstein August 24, 2011 at 11:51 AM
As a past president of KPY I am proud to see that KPY has continued its tradition of working with the school district and continues to put our children needs at the forefront even during these difficult economic times. I was at the Board of Ed meeting last night and proud to see KPY hand over a check in excess of $14,000 to the BOE. However this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the $400,000 or so that the school district can possibly save if the teachers union changes health insurers (without losing coverage and also reducing the premiums) as mentioned at the meeting. This has been highlighted in articles in The Smithtown News over the last month or so. I urge the community to get involved and put pressure on both the BOE and the teacher's union to get this resolved so that organizations such as KPY don't have to resort to donating money to give our children what is rightfully theirs a great education with all the extra curricular activities associated with it.
Steve Weber August 27, 2011 at 09:32 PM
I can only put an exclamation point next to what Marie wrote and from the bottom of my heart to the people of KPY, thank you.
Tim September 07, 2011 at 01:38 AM
When does it end?

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