As a prize, the winner, Don Melrose, designated $500 to go toward the girl’s soccer team and $500 to the swim team at the high school.
Members of the booster club have a lot to do with keeping sports alive at the school, said Scotts Valley High Athletic Director Louie Walters.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have athletics at Scotts Valley High School,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have some great leaders at the Falcon Club. Each one has brought something different, but each one of them has something in common — passion.”
The Falcon Club raises enough money each school year to pay entirely for coach stipends; officials and referees at every game; awards; field upkeep; and supplies for all school sports.
Except for the athletic director’s salary, neither the district nor the state of California funds athletics at the school, except to cut the grass and pay for electricity.
“The district was paying stipends for about five years,” Walters said. “Then they couldn’t do it any more and needed help. To defend the district, if they could do it differently, they would.”
The main sources of fundraising are participant donations and gate fees, said Falcon Club President Stephanie Espinola.
Each athlete is asked to pay $185 for each sport they play. Of that money, the Falcon Club receives $125 to pay for coaches and referees, and the individual team receives $60 for uniforms, equipment and travel.
Many of the teams, including the football team, Espinola said, do their own outside fundraisers to pay for trips, sometimes to outside of the state. Each team also runs the snack bar at the school’s gym during their games and receives funding for that.
A common misconception, Espinola said, is that the football team receives the majority of money the Falcon Club raises — each team receives funding based on the number of participants.
Community donations are also a key source of funding, Espinola said.
“Businesses and alumni are incredibly generous,” she said.
Fundraising is not the only portion of the club’s responsibilities.
Members, who are often parents of players on various teams, also complete much of the necessary upkeep on the athletic facilities. Recently, members built new bleachers for the softball team and a turf practice field for the soccer team.
Paying coaches stipends is the largest portion of the organization’s budget, amounting to about $85,000 each year, according to past President Penny Weaver. There are between 30 and 40 teams each year that need funding, and varsity coaches are paid $2,628, junior varsity coaches $2,136 and freshmen coaches $1,872 for each athletic season.
“Pennies an hour is what it breaks down to,” said Weaver, who also coaches volleyball. “Everybody that coaches loves the sport, and they’re doing it because they love it.”
The Falcon Club will have its annual best-ball golf tournament April 26 at DeLaveaga Golf Course. The cost is $150 for teams of four and includes lunch and dinner and a chance at winning a car with a hole-in-one.
“We appreciate the generosity of the community and the time the coaches give,” said Weaver, who organizes the tournament. “Without the parents and participant donations, we’re sunk. That is the truth, because that is where our budget comes from.”
Poker Tournament Winners
Don Melrose – first
Dwayne Christensen – second
Brenda Schmidt – third
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