Sunday, July 18, 2004

Campbell Co. parents form district's first booster club

One group will cover costs of all sports teams

By Karen Gutierrez
Enquirer staff writer

ALEXANDRIA - To raise more money for sports, Campbell County parents have united to form the district's first booster club to cover all teams at all levels.

The Campbell Athletic Network is unusual for Northern Kentucky, where teams tend to do their own fund-raising, overseen by coaches.

That's not very efficient, said Joe Roberts, Campbell's athletic director.

Before joining the district last year, Roberts handled athletics at a school in Warren County. Most Ohio districts have one parent booster club, he said. With volunteers from many sports, such groups can throw bigger events and attract more corporate donations.

This is how Anderson High School in Anderson Township, for instance, was able to install artificial turf on its football field last year.

The system also relieves coaches from money worries, Roberts said.

"I want these coaches focused on coaching. I want them to focus on what's going on in kids' lives," he said.

The Campbell Athletic Network has had three meetings so far. Its first project will be a membership drive this fall.

Teams can still hold fund-raisers and earmark the money for their sport, but they will need to go through the network to do so. This will cut down on events occurring at the same time, Roberts said.

In addition, any money raised by the network as a whole will be divided among the sports based in part on their financial needs and the effort put in by team volunteers.

Parent Chuck Heilman , whose sons have run track and played soccer at Campbell County High, sees lots of advantages.

"In a real booster organization, the football parents would be helping out at the track meets, so that the track parents could go watch their kids," with roles reversing during football season, Heilman said.


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