NEWS - "Big changes coming to booster clubs at Bear River High"

BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Cari Doutre - May 12, 2021

Say goodbye to the way booster clubs at Bear River High School once were because big changes are on the way.

Starting in the 2021-22 school year, all Utah High School Activities Association sanction sports or programs at Bear River High will be consolidated into one main booster club complete with a board of directors, a board president and bylaws.

The decision to make this change came from the Bear River High’s administration and according to Principal AJ Gilmore, all coaches/leaders are on board.

“The purpose of this association is to support, encourage and advance all athletic programs and related activities at Bear River High School thereby cultivate wholesome school spirit, promote good sportsmanship and develop character and high ideals,” said Gilmore.

One of the many reasons behind the move is to help show the school’s gratitude to donors by providing a more organized way to donate to these programs.

“How do we give back to them? How do we say thanks and show appreciation,” asked Gilmore. “As a school is there anything we can do to recognize and show our appreciation?”

But there’s also another reason for the change.

“What it does at first, better than anything, is that it helps support those teams that can’t really do a lot of fundraising because they don’t have enough kids on the team or whatever,” said Clay Chournos, Vice Principal at Bear River High.

“This allows them to get what they need, and it’s generally a lot less than some of the other sports, but it helps us to say what do you need and let us help get that for you,” he added.

The cost to run each program or activity also varies according to equipment, facilities, coaching staff and other needs. The cost to run the football program is far different than the cost to run the cross-country program - different sport, different circumstances, different needs.

As the needs and wants of individual activities or programs are all different, so are the fundraising efforts and the cost to run each program. There’s also a big difference when it comes to the number of participants in one activity versus another.

During the current 2020-21 school year, the Bear River High football program had the highest student participants with 89. On the flip side, the Bear River High drill team (Hi-Steppers) had 11 students.

There are currently 27 UHSAA sanctioned sports or programs at Bear River High - football, volleyball, softball, baseball, drill (dance), cheer, golf (boys and girls), tennis (boys and girls), soccer (boys and girls), track (boys and girls), cross-country (boys and girls), wrestling (boys and girls), basketball (boys and girls), swimming (boys and girls), lacrosse (boys and girls), band, theater and choir.

So, who decides where the funds in the shared pot go?

It will all come down to a board of directors with a representative from each sport or program. Included on that board will be a president appointed by Bear River High’s administrators who will oversee and conduct board meetings. There will also be one coach voted in by all coaches to represent them.

Then there’s the possibility of a few wildcards mixed in the board. That will be the possibility of five “at large” representatives on the board that aren’t affiliated with any of the sports or programs. Bear River High has not yet released the names of those individuals who will serve on the board.

Businesses or individuals wishing to donate or sponsor a sport or program will have 10 different membership levels, broken down by price and benefits, to choose from. Different membership levels are meant to provide a more organized approach for sponsors to choose from.

However, if a sponsor wants to just donate a lump sum of money to one specific sport or program, and opt out of a membership, 10% of that amount will go to the shared pot. Sponsors will have a choice in where their banners are hung i.e., the football field or the softball field or the gym etc.

The least expensive membership is the Basic Booster Membership which is $30 for a single person or $50 for a couple. That membership includes:

· A membership to booster club events (tailgate parties, etc.)

· 10% off a season or game pass

· A booster club car sticker

The most expensive membership is the Gold Level Membership for $100,000. That membership spans over five years and includes:

· A logo on the school’s football field turf

· A major banner with a premium spot on all fields, courts and gyms

· 10 All-Sport passes

· 10 season passes

· 4 region passes (including home state playoff games)

· “Swag” packages of various promotional items each year based on what individual business owners need

· A flag for the business

· 10 vouchers worth $10 each for concession stands

· Announcements of support at events

· A full-page advertisement on all season programs

· An advertisement on all season posters

However, some funds will remain separate and will not be included in the shared pot – uniforms, travel expenses (excluding busses), food and coaches’ stipends. Those funds will come from other places including the school district and fundraisers specific to that program.

Bear River High isn’t the only high school to have just one main booster club. Cache Valley has five public high schools and all but one (Logan High School) have a main booster club for all UHSAA sanctioned activities.

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