High school sports are an all-around task, from games to off-season workouts to even fundraising programs at local golf tournaments.
Yes, that final part wasn’t a typo.
Arlington Lamar and Fort Worth Paschal are a couple area schools that are working concession stands during this week’s Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Parents, student athletes and some coaches were out and about, helping raise money for athletics on the 13th hole, deemed the “Party Hole.”
“For years, the Colonial [Country Club] has been allowing booster clubs to come out here to set up different booths. Paschal started four or five years ago – it’s all about working and getting the right position, and to get as much business,” said Jared Shope. “We get a percentage of what we sell and keep all the tips. So the better the sales, the more money the booster clubs get.”
This is the third year Shope has helped work the stands. His son, Cruz, is a junior on the football and baseball teams, while daughter Isabella is a freshman on the volleyball and track and field teams.
“It’s imperative for us because what the Fort Worth ISD provides is very minimal for what a sport needs to succeed. If we’re going to compete at the level of the bigger schools in the area, we have to supplement,” Shope said. “So anyway we can find ways, whether that’s running the concessions stands at our own school or the concessions stands here, we have to find those opportunities to make the additional money for things like better equipment or facilities.”
And volunteering was never a doubt in his mind.
“You have to. Who doesn’t want to see their kid have the best chance to succeed and there are just certain things you have to have as an athlete to succeed,” Shope said.
One booth over, Paschal’s 4-6A rival school, Lamar, had three booths running, led by volleyball coach Heather Woodman and booster club president Grace Whetstone.
Both said Lamar has been working at the Colonial for nearly 15 years and looks to it as its only fundraiser of the school year.
“In the beginning of the season, we talked to the girls and parents just about how this is our one fundraiser and this is how we’re going to get uniforms, shoes, knees pads, everything we’re going to get this season that our budget doesn’t buy and it’s important that we all chip in because it goes to all the kids,” Woodman said. “So the girls know it’s an expectation to be here at least on Saturday and Sunday to help work because this goes to them and the parents know that too because that’s how we fund our program.”
Whetstone is in her second year as president, fourth working at the Colonial, and has a daughter, Kayla who plays volleyball and is wrapping up her junior year.
“We come out here, and we recruit family members and friends of friends to come out and it’s a great way to bring awareness to Lamar volleyball. It’s a great way to get in front of the community,” she said. “There’s a lot of different stands so when the people come in, we tell them who we are and what it’s about, what we’re selling, tell them we’ll be here all week and they come back.”
And for both schools, it’s not only a way for the athletes to give back and help themselves out, but it allows them to gain other tools for the future, outside of athletics.
“The kids need to see the organizations out here – it’s hard work. I mean it’s fun, but it’s hard work and I think we want them to know yes, we support them, but it’s also hard work so that they don’t take things for granted,” Whetstone said. “We put them in front of people and have them walking around to promote our booths.”
Lamar head football coach Laban DeLay was also working the stands on the 17th hole. Woodman said that the Vikings will continue to work the Colonial in future years.
“We’ll keep doing this. As long as we can keep getting volunteers, we’ll keep doing this because from what I’ve heard, if you give your booth up, it’s really hard to get it back,” she said. “It’s five hard days, but it’s really fun and has a great atmosphere.”