In addition to honoring students, staff and retirees on June 16, the Mamaroneck School Board took another step in addressing private fund raising efforts to reinstate the eight sports teams cut from the 2010-2011 budget. These teams, the fourth in each of their respective sports, were eliminated for financial reasons.
On behalf of the Tiger Team Booster Club, Diane Muratore presented the school board with a symbolic “big check” for $30,000 to help bring back the teams that were cut. She expects to have a “real” check in the next few weeks.
The All-Star raffle fund raiser, Ms. Muratre explained, was “a united effort with volunteers from soccer, volleyball, field hockey, football, boys and girls’ basketball, softball and baseball working together.” The goal had been to raise $100,000 so that all the affected teams could be reinstated.
Community members donated tickets to the Major League Baseball All Star Game in Anaheim California on July 13th, two round-trip airline tickets on Jet Blue Airways, and a two-night hotel accommodation, as well as two one-day passes to Disneyland. At a drawing at the Nautilus Diner earlier in the evening, a Booster Club volunteer picked the winning raffle ticket, which belonged to Renato Leva, Jr.
The raffle received widespread community support, with participation by families whose children are years away from playing on one of the teams. For example, Mamaroneck Avenue School parent Tina Maresca, whose oldest child is in the second grade, sold over $1,000 worth of raffle tickets.
The money was raised with the understanding that it will be donated to the school district for use by the Athletic Department. The school board and the Athletic Department will decide which teams will return.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried noted that there are additional fund raising efforts underway to bring back particular teams. Lawyers for the district are exploring the extent to which federal Title IX rules will require the district to bring back an equal number of boys and girls teams to maintain gender equity. The law was not written to cover a situation like the district is facing, noted Dr. Fried, where teams were abolished for financial reasons and private fund raising is seeking to reinstate specific teams.
In any event, Dr. Fried said, the board has indicated a desire to maintain parity, and the Booster Club donation will allow the district to “create more equity” since that donation will not be tied to a particular team. If, for example, other private fund raising efforts result in monies to bring back two boys’ teams, the Booster Club funds could be used for girls’ teams.
Dr. Fried will be working with Athletic Director Bari Suman to provide additional information and guidance to community members involved in athletic fund raising, including information about the deadlines by which funds must be raised in order for a team to be reinstated and scheduled for practices and games.
The information sharing is somewhat complicated by the fact that the district wants to be clear that it is not itself engaged in fund raising, which is prohibited by state law.