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Eye of the Tiger

Spirit drives successful fundraising tactics, efforts

JAMIE BATEMAN

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Over the past four years, the varsity football team has purchased at least one new jersey each season. This serves as a sharp contrast to other programs such as water polo, where varsity players use hand me downs.

However, this is not due to inequity in funding from the school or even related to money collected from spectators. According to athletic director Emily Dodds, the school provides the same amount of money for all sports. But, more prominent sports such as football, baseball, basketball and soccer have more success fundraising within the community.

Over the course of a calendar year, the football program hosts up to five fundraising events such as golf tournaments and team hosted dinners.

Head football coach Larry Cunha feels that the fundraising done by the varsity football team is a necessity because the money provided by the school is not enough to effectively maintain the program.

“The money provided by the school is simply not enough,” Cunha said. “Every year we spend money on things like helmets, pads, HUDL access, and cameras and the school provides us the bare minimum.”

Because of the lack of available spending money for extracurriculars, the football program, in specific, not only uses fundraising events, but also accepts donations from 22 local businesses. Bunz and Company, a restaurant owned by Dan Bunz, a Roseville native and Super Bowl champion. Every year, Bunz donates money to the football program. Bunz is proud of his Roseville lineage and is more than happy to donate to the team.

“Since I am from around here, I know the history of the school and program,” Bunz said. “I go to as many games as I can, and I know that the money I donate is needed by the program, and it makes me feel good knowing I can help them out.”

Bunz’s history with the program is not the only thing that prompts him to donate because he also knows that supporting the local football team can be good for business.

“A lot of the customers we get in here are fans of Roseville or have kids at the school, so whenever they see that we support them they really like it,” Bunz said. “We also know that a lot of the kids like coming in here, knowing that it’s a local business and that really can be good for business.”

While a lot of money is gained through donations from local businesses, donations from the families of the players also help out the team. Missy Baker, a parent of two varsity players, also graduated from Roseville High School and attends every fundraiser put on by the football program, and even donates money at some of those fundraisers.

According to Baker, not only is she inclined to donate because of her son’s participation in the sport, but also because of the school pride that she and her husband, RHS alum Rick Baker, feel towards the program.

“I think a big part of it is because both of our kids play on the team but it’s definitely not the only reason,” Baker said. “We have been here our entire lives and any chance we have to support the high school, and the football team in specific, we like to do what we can.”

While donations from parents and sponsors help, fundraising is the most successful way that the football program makes money. While it may be easy for the football program because of the publicity and prominence it has on the campus and the community, lesser known programs such as soccer and water polo don’t have the same success.

Girls water polo and soccer coach Paul Stewart has noticed a discrepancy between the sports he coaches.

“It’s definitely noticeable when you look at each team, and mainly because of how much the kids care,” Stewart said. “Some kids care a lot and go out really hard trying to sell things and get money, and others don’t.”

While Stewart notices that some smaller teams don’t have the same success as the bigger programs, he acknowledges that some programs may have more needs than others.

“For soccer, all we really get is sometime new jerseys and nets for the goals,” Stewart said. “Other teams like football need pads, helmets, and all the other extra things they need. I think it’s good they are able to pull in the money they do, because they do tend to need it the most and make the most money from ticket sales at the gate.”

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