Rocky River Board of Education President Kathleen Goepfert and Activities and Athletics Director Mark Wagner accept a check from
Concessions Coordinator Kim Pease and Boosters President Mike Pease.
Student Activities Get a Boost from the Rocky River Boosters
Last year, Rocky River Student Activities Boosters raised $68,000 dollars that went directly to co-curricular student activities. In fact, the Middle School’s entire activities budget came from Boosters, as well as a percentage of the High School’s.
The money Boosters raises is what allows Rocky River middles schoolers and high schoolers to participate in out-of-school activities—ranging from soccer and marching band to chess club and forensics—without having to use district funds or a pay-to-play system. “Boosters pay for all the referees and umpires at every middle school and high school game,” points out membership co-coordinator Jeanette Lihani.
But who are these Boosters? Maybe you buy concessions from them at a football game, or a T-shirt to show your Pirate pride. That contribution is certainly appreciated, but you can do a lot more to help the Boosters, and they’d love for you to join them.
“Anyone can join Boosters, and we wish everyone would,” says Concessions Coordinator Kim Pease. In fact, explains Boosters president Mike Pease, “we are looking for not only current parent of RRMS and RRHS students but also former and future parents. We would also like to attract back former students to participate.”
Membership is available at different levels, from Patron to Corporate. Many of the levels include Pirate Passes, which entitle the holder to get into all middle and high school home sporting events for free (with the exception of ice hockey games and playoff games). These passes make Boosters membership a great option for community members who enjoy school sports or families with younger kids who are fans of the high school marching band’s halftime shows. Kathy Turk says, “we have grandparents from other cities join to support their Rocky River grandchildren, and they're able to use the activities passes to attend their games.”
That’s one of the best things about Boosters’ fund-raising efforts: not only does every dime go directly to the schools, but the fundraising methods are directly related to what they’re raising funds for. In other words, that cozy sweatshirt you wear to watch a soccer game in comfort, that beverage that you enjoy while watching a track meet, or a pass to get you in the gate—all these activity-related purchases are ways Boosters raise their money.
This fund-raising is as much a team effort as playing a varsity sport: Boosters exists only thanks to its volunteers. Volunteers like Kim Pease, who works many hours at concessions with Paige Farling. And Anne Kaull and Teresa Fox, who spearhead spiritwear. They order all the Rocky River Pirates gear that’s for sale throughout the year, including at the High School every Wednesday and Friday from 11 to 1, at all home Varsity Football games, and at the rec center the first two Saturdays in December. Rob Laskowski oversees the group’s advertising and Addie Olander is in charge of their communications.
Tracy Blossey is in her third year as treasurer for the group. “This organization is so valuable to the community,” she notes, “and I love working with all the great people on the board,” including past President Diana Leitch, who is still closely involved.
The more members Boosters has, the more money that goes to support student activities. That benefits every student in the district. But in addition to more members, Boosters needs more volunteers. It’s the age-old scenario where a small percentage of folks does the bulk of the work, and while they don’t mind it because the benefits to the students are so great, they sure would love some more help.
“I got involved because my kids were involved in sports and I could volunteer for both the Middle School and High School at the same time,” says Jeanette Lihani. Anne Kaull, who has been involved with the group for over a decade, initially joined when her oldest was a freshman and the family was new to the district. “I got involved as a way to meet people,” she says.
Rocky River Student Activities Boosters is a team where everyone wins. The volunteers know they are directly supporting their kids’ activities even while they’re enjoying social time with other parents. The members get the benefit of supporting the students and perhaps even getting a pass to attend events. Community members are well-fed and well-dressed at events, thanks to the items Boosters sell to raise money.
And, of course, the students of the Rocky River School district are the biggest winners of all. Thanks to the Boosters, their activities received $68,000 last year. And even more than the financial support the Boosters provide, students know that there’s an active, committed group of volunteers working to make sure that co-curricular school activities, so central to the school experience, are affordable for all.
To join Boosters or to volunteer, please go to www.rrcs.org/Boosters.aspx.