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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports high school sports

Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools director proposes $750K fundraising target set for Aug. 1

Many schools have been forced to make budget cuts because of the money crunch facing Indiana schools. Monroe County institutions are no different.

Larry Winters, assistant athletic director and girls’ basketball coach at Bloomington High School South, sees it as an unfortunate and difficult situation with people facing tough decisions about what to cut and what to keep.  

“To some people, it seems like the easiest way to go,” Winters said. “With sports being involved with it, you would think that it would be easier to fundraise for it than some of the other academic areas, so it’s just a tough situation.”

The ratification of a new contract for the 2010-11 school year by the Monroe County Community School Corporation board and the Monroe County Education Association Teachers Union brought to light that there would be no money for those leading extracurricular activities, causing much commotion among educators, students and community members. 

Last Wednesday at BHSS, Tina Peterson, executive director of the Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools, proposed a plan to raise the $750,000 needed to provide the stipends for extracurricular activities by Aug. 1. Peterson’s plan called on the Bloomington community for help.

“The plan is to really engage everyone in the community and to fundraise an effort,” Peterson said.

She said she plans to garner a few large donations from local businesses and many smaller donations from community members, as well as money from several fundraising programs.

“Our goal here is to find 25 lead givers that will help us raise $250,000 and then to engage about 2,800 individuals and families in the community,” Peterson said. “We assume primarily parents of kids in school to help us raise $340,000 and then do some community events and some community fundraising to reach the last $160,000.” 

If the goal is not reached, some coaches have already said they can’t perform their duties for free.  

“We have had a couple coaches who had to step away because they just can’t afford to wait to find out or to work for less than what their stipend is supposed to be,” Peterson said.

But there are some who said they feel they could not abandon their teams. Winters looks at it as being paid less.  

“I feel like I put a lot of time in for the amount that I’m paid anyway, so I don’t know that ‘coaching for free’ is a way to put it,” Winters said.

Given the time commitment coaches put in, they said they feel there is a certain amount of loyalty that must be upheld. Many of the players said they also expect the coaches to be there for them. 

“I think I owe it to the girls that I’ve had in my program and just not coach next year and leave my seniors out to dry,” Winters said. “Obviously it’s not something I want to do or look forward to doing, but I’m in it for the kids.”

Everybody involved agrees that to reach the goal, staying optimistic is important right now.

“We have to be optimistic to work at it and go after it,” BHSS Athletic Director J.R.
Holmes said.

With six weeks until the Aug. 1 deadline, the MCCSC has already received help from a few local corporations.

“We have several that have contacted us, and we know that they are in the process of determining how they can participate,” Peterson said. “But as of right now, we have a $25,000 gift from a local law firm, Bunger & Robertson, and then on Friday we learned that the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County gave another lead gift of $25,000, so we think that’s a pretty good start after just two days.”

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