I am quickly approaching the completion of my seventh year as a parent to two Stonington High School students. During this time, I have been blessed to have two athletic kids. Both have participated in 3 sports in the four years of their time at SHS.
The reality of being in high school and participating in sports, band, drama, etc. is that there are costs that are simply not covered by the school. Additional funds are always needed to get better uniforms, equipment, bus transportation, referees, etc. Even if a student does not participate in any programs, at the end of their journey at SHS, parents throw a drug- and alcohol-free overnight party to ensure the safety of our children after graduation, and this can cost in upwards of $25,000. So where does this money come from? Well, one word: fundraisers.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about the last seven years and started to really think about all of these fundraisers. The basket raffles, breakfasts, pot roast dinners, apparel sales, and gift card sales to name a few. In every single one of the fundraisers a business is, hands down, the backbone to their success. Whether it’s donating cash, giving discounts, donating merchandise/food or donating their time based on their area of expertise, they came through for each and every one of those fundraisers! My best guess, is that the value of these fundraisers over this time is probably close to $100,000.
So why do they do it? I can only assume that many attended SHS, or had children who have attended or do attend, some have a love of a sport, it’s a great way to advertise, and some probably do it because it feels good to support our young community! While a majority of our donations come from Stonington and Westerly businesses, I’ve also seen contributions from many tourist-related businesses ranging from New Hampshire to Florida!
While I know coaches and players send out thank-you notes, I felt it was important that, as a parent, they should know it does not go unnoticed. Thank you for contributing what you could every year. Thank you for supporting my children the last seven years. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity. Without a doubt, it has positively impacted my children!