CASA GRANDE — As businesses struggle to survive the coronavirus pandemic, high school booster clubs could also be facing the effects of fewer donations and sponsorships.
That has not been the case for Casa Grande schools as of yet, say Vista Grande football coach Chris Semore and CG Union coach Jake Barro.
“It makes sense,” Semore said. “Businesses are hurting right now, so they are not giving like they would normally would. I haven’t heard anything for us.”
Semore and Barro said they are lucky compared to other districts where the school district has provided for everything the programs have needed, such as equipment, but Semore said that’s not the case for some smaller schools.
“The smaller schools may not have the budget [while we are] a bigger district,” Semore said. “I know some coaches that use those fundraising dollars to buy equipment. If they don’t have those dollars, they are going to go without that equipment. That means the numbers are not going to be as big, and they can’t safely put kids in equipment that allows them to safety play football.
“It’s definitely going to hurt them and the things that they can do. We are pretty fortunate that coach Barro and myself, we are in a district that they have taken care of us. Not every district is like that, so that is going to have a negative impact on them.”
Semore said booster funds are typically used for the team’s summer camp, which usually takes place in July right before the start of practice. Other booster funds go to pregame meals for the kids, senior night and the end of the year banquet.
“All of those things come out of booster money,” Semore said. “So we will have to adjust to how we do those things because we are not going to have the same thing that we normally do.”
Semore added one possibility with lack of funds could mean the end of the year banquet could be a potluck instead of having it catered.
“Who knows, business could come back booming,” he said. “The one thing I’ve noticed about the businesses in Casa Grande is they are more than willing to help and donate and help the kids. All the interactions that I’ve had with those businesses and our boosters have had have been great.”
Barro has not met with his booster club since the pandemic started, but he said things have slowed down as far as fundraising and sponsorships. He said the annual golf tournament had to be canceled, and the team’s California trip in the fall has been rescheduled for 2021.
“There’s no question things have slowed down, and that’s the way it’s going to be for at least this year,” he said. “We are going to be able to get by fine for this year, but yeah normally the money you raise goes for those things. If you are not able to raise that, then it raises some concerns.”