For the community members who vowed to do their best in raising $60,000 to aimed at Brewster schools' athletic programs, time is nearly up.
At Tuesday's Board of Education (BOE) meeting, Athletic Director Lance Pliego is slated to present his recommendations of which programs should be cut. He was unable to give specifics on potential eliminations when he spoke to Patch, but did acknowledge the work of a group of parents and residents who have formed a booster club.
"The Brewster Athletic Booster Club and the school have been working on how to best offset, partially or fully depending on fundraising, the budget reductions,” he wrote in an email. “At the next BOE meeting, we will be able to see how far we’ve come and what still needs to be done.”
The idea for a booster club took shape before officials adopted this year's budget, as parents and students wondered what Brewster's sports would look like operating on a reduced budget.
The concept has been a popular one in the community for some time, as the original athletic booster club faded out of existence a number of years ago. The current club is made up of approximately 60 contributors, according to Doreen Bentson, a mother of three Brewster athletes who spearheaded the effort.
As of last week, the organization, which charges $50 for a family membership, tallied committments and donations that totaled approximately $13,000.
"It's a lot of money [$60,000] to try to raise in six weeks,” Bentson said. “So it was never a realistic goal for us to come up with $60,000 in six to eight weeks. Our intentions were to do the best we could and at least get the fundamental structure [of the booster club] in place."
While the parents’ efforts have been admirable, she said, the club has yet to attract any large sponsors. In addition to the financial support a major sponsor would provide, Bentson stressed that the club is lacking another element, too: Widespread support from residents in Brewster and Southeast.
"I just reached out to 2,000 households and I have no idea if they're behind what we're trying to do,” she said last week, referring to newsletters the club mailed. “We won't go anywhere without the support of the athletic community."
One of the club's last efforts to raise additional funds before Pliego and the Board talk specifics is an auction and raffle at the Senior Awards Banquet on Wednesday. The event is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. at in Danbury, Conn.
Although it is unlikely that the club will raise the $60,000 by next week, Bentson still considers the effort a success.
"Right now it's just a grassroots effort to raise as much money as we can,” she said. “Come September, we'll have more events planned and we'll be off and running."