Friday, July 19, 2024
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White County School Board Deliberating Fundraisers

The White County School Board concerned about burdening the community with athletic fundraisers as teams work to manage program expenses.

Board Member Tracy Fowler said several local businesses had approached her about being approached repeatedly by teams looking for money. Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said finding a balance between helping teams stay afloat and avoiding over-asking can be a challenge.

“That was something the board, for years, has tried to protect our community,” Dronebarger said. “We only have so many businesses in our community and they just get hit over and over and over, so we’ve tried to make sure that we’re spreading the wealth, so to speak, as far as that goes, and respecting the community in that regard.”

Dronebarger said the school board gives some $100,000 annually to fund athletics. Fowler cited requests for advertisements for football and basketball video boards as fundraisers that may cause the most strain on local businesses.

“That’s an excessive amount because we don’t have a lot of businesses in this town,” Fowler said. “And money’s tight right now for everybody.”

Dronebarger said the district restricts the number of fundraisers each team can conduct and tries to avoid door-to-door fundraisers, especially for elementary school teams. He said that each year, a few fundraisers are not accepted initially due to a lack of details outlined.

“I try to really, as director, oversee that,” Dronebarger said. “We truly work hard to make sure we’re respecting the community.”

He said he works with administrators and athletic directors to ensure that the school board meets the team’s needs with its own funding and allows teams opportunities to support additional needs like uniforms through fundraising opportunities.

“I feel confident those that we’ve brought forth, although they’re numerous, the are within the limits of what we’ve done in the past,” Dronebarger said.

He said he has begun requiring coaches to give the details of each fundraiser, including the amount the team hopes to generate and the specific need being addressed by those funds. He said he also sits down with administration to talk through the details of fundraisers before bringing them to the board.

The board ultimately approved the list for the 2024-2025 school year.

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