A new athletics booster club at Greenwood Community High School is epitomizing the concept of teamwork.
Designed to benefit all athletics programs, the Woodmen Athletic Booster Club deviates from the school’s old way of operating, in which all 19 Woodmen teams essentially took care of themselves while attempting to raise funds for new equipment or uniforms.
“It’s just the financial support for the kids,” said Shawn Bauer, a 1990 Greenwood graduate who has been appointed the Woodmen Athletic Booster Club’s first president. “I think this is actually bringing everyone together as one group because it is all about the kids.”
Greenwood’s initial fundraising effort, a fish fry conducted Feb. 4 at the high school, raised close to $2,500. Mike Campbell, who is an assistant athletics director assigned to help put the booster club together, said the goal is to reach $10,000 by the time the 2016-17 school year begins July 28.
Campbell, who credits athletics director Rob Irwin for the new vision, said it’s something Greenwood has needed.
“(Irwin) came in and wanted to start something that involved all the sports. As one of the (three) assistant athletic directors, this is the kind of thing I like to do,” Campbell said. “It gets a lot of people involved at the school and in the community.
“One of the things it does is bring all of our athletics under one umbrella. As school budgets have shrunk, it’s important to get every penny we can. It’s a big-picture thing because when all of our programs are successful it helps everyone.”
Irwin is in his first year as athletics director, having previously served the same role for seven years at Whitko High School and, most recently, a two-year stint as assistant athletics director at Huntington North.
“I just felt we needed to become one, and that everything we do is about Greenwood High School,” Irwin said. “It’s easier to do that when everyone is working together. Really, every sport will benefit.
“I think people always feel football and basketball get all the stuff, which, at the three schools I’ve been at wasn’t necessarily the case. In reality, football and basketball are supporting everybody, anyway.”
The new booster club will not affect the Woodmen Touchdown Club, which is run by parents of Greenwood’s football players. They are two different entities.
“Football is different with the amount of equipment they use. Of all the programs that have been hurt by this, it’s football,” Irwin said. “They’re the ones making the most and having the most fundraising opportunities, and now they’re allowing the big booster club to take a lot of the funds that they’ve been able to get for their program.
“Coach Campbell, (the fact) he’s going to give some of his kitty to help support the other programs shows what our coaches are about. And once the kids realize what’s going on and how much it can help them, they’ll get into it, too.”
Irwin said Greenwood’s sports programs likely will continue to do their one fundraiser per year but won’t be permitted to raise money outside of that.
Irwin said that ultimately it’s his and the booster board’s decision on how monies are allocated but that already Greenwood has been able to send coaches to clinics and purchase uniforms and equipment for nearly every athletics program.
The Woodmen Athletic Booster Club is looking into hosting a golf tournament this summer in at attempt to raise more funds.
“When they were talking about putting together an all-inclusive booster club, that’s something I wanted to be part of,” Campbell said. “I think it’s a fantastic idea so that we can pool resources and be able to raise funds as a group.
“Ideally, we would like this to become a program the parents are running. We have people here who are really interested in Greenwood athletics because this is their home.”
WOODMEN ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB
Shawn Bauer, president
Michelle Kincaid, vice president
Jenni Bass, secretary
Tamara Russell, treasurer
Leanne Rapp, at-large member
Casey Lucas, at large member
Greg Stilley, at-large member
Dana Garrison, at-large member