Athletic Boosters donate $37,000 to NHS
Wednesday night was a big one for the Newton Community School District Booster Club, which held its year-end meeting at Sugar Grove Gathering Place just outside of Newton.
The event was highlighted by the introduction of 12 new members and the club's donation of $37,000 to Newton Senior High School after a very successful year of fundraising efforts.
The 36-member club held a pot-luck dinner at the Gathering Place — part of Sugar Grove Vineyards — welcomed its new members, presented its donation and then held its regular meeting for the final time in the 2011-12 school year.
Club meetings are normally held in the NHS Multipurpose Room, but given the significance of this one, a livelier venue was desired. Collette Hill, owner of Sugar Grove, graciously donated the Gathering Place for the club's usage.
"We felt like it's always a big accomplishment when you can raise over $46,000, so we wanted to make it a celebration and more festive than at the high school," said Gary Latcham, outgoing co-president of the club. "It was very nice of Collette to donate it to us."
The meeting was the last as co-president for Gary and Cori Latcham, as well as for 12 members of the club's current board members. Each member serves a three-year term. The 12 new members, whose terms begin with the 2012-13 school year include: Andy and Carla Cazett, Dave and Jill Stanton, Matt and Tanya Michener, Ed and Shannon Banfield, Scott and Monica Pritchard and Fred and Julie Tingle.
The club ended up raising $46,448 this school year, outdoing the $44,000 it raised last year. On Wednesday night, it presented NHS principal Bill Peters with a check for $37,000.
Upon commencing his final club meeting, Latcham reflected on everyone who had a hand in making the organization so successful this year.
""It's the people who are willing to work hard," he said. "They really believe in the kids and what they want to do and they want to support them. That's what it's really all about — the student athletes. Helping make them become more competitive. Helping our cheerleaders, the Pacesetters. They're a class group of people."
The club raised the money in a number of successful events throughout the school year. One of the first was the annual Cardinal Football Golf Tournament back in August, which raised $3,000. The next tournament is already set for Aug. 12 at Westwood Golf Coruse. The Boosters raised $1,000 through its "Dollars for Scholars" program, and most recently raised $2,000 in just three hours through the "Drive for Your School" event at the Cardinal Relays track meet on May 3. Money also was raised through 50/50 raffles at NHS home football games. Another event was December's "Christmas in the Gym," which included a chili supper and toy and food donations.
A new addition this year, and a big hit, was two Trivia Nights. One was held in November at Fore Seasons and the other was in March at Iowa Speedway.
"We had events at Fore Seasons and Iowa Speedway, with facilities donated for the Booster Club," Latcham said. "Our community is fabulous in supporting our kids. I've been impressed with that over the past three years."
The new co-presidents of the club are Wayne and Jenny Mann, whom Latcham spoke highly of.
"It's in very capable hands," he said. "They'll do an excellent job. They've been very involved the past two years with fundrasing. They'll do a fabulous job leading the organization."