The Eastwood Athletic Boosters are planning three new projects for the upcoming year.
The projects are providing workers for all admission gates at the Wood County Fair, a reverse raffle and the awarding of four scholarships to senior athletes.
The boosters also will hold their third annual Eastwood Open golf outing July 15 at Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg.
The boosters already are preparing for their second year as their first year is coming to a close.
During their first year, the boosters raised money to pay for the Hudl video and scouting system, bought new mats for the high school gymnasium, and sold reserved seat privileges for girls and boys basketball.
The Hudl system cost approximately $4,000.
Wright said the boosters raising money to pay for Hudl enabled the athletic department to focus on other needs financially, explaining athletic director Jeff Hill has developed a schedule for when each sport will have new jerseys or uniforms.
“The first year, people will follow anything to see what people think of it, but getting people to renew or comeback for the second year, that’s when you see your success,” said Kyle Wright, the president of the boosters. “We’re starting to see the fruits of our labor.”
The jersey/uniform schedule was given to the boosters at their April meeting, Wright said.
“There is now a schedule set for every single sport when they’re getting new jerseys,” Wright said. “Raising the money for the Hudl system allows the athletic department to do more.
“People are starting to see the impact we’re having, and it’s allowing us to get our sights on bigger projects we have lined up,” Wright added. “Those chunks of money are allowing us to set our sights on bigger things.”
The boosters had 156 members, as of their April meeting.
“People have definitely bought in,” Wright said. “I’m pretty happy with that (156 members) one year in. Initially, when we started, we definitely were unsure of the direction we wanted to take.
“We were stuck in the middle between wanting to grow as an organization and gain resources,” Wright added. “But it’s hard for people to jump on board when they’re not seeing accomplishments carried out.”
The boosters already are accepting membership renewals and new memberships for the 2022-23 academic year. Memberships are $25 again this year and available online at www.eastwoodboosters.com.
“We wanted to change as few variables as possible to gauge our success to see how many people renew,” Wright said. “We’d love to see everyone renew and what we can grow to by next May’s meeting.”
Following is a look at the upcoming events:
May annual meeting
The boosters’ May meeting, to be held May 9 this year, is the organization’s most important meeting of the year, Wright said. The boosters meet the second Monday of each month with the exception of July. They’ll meet again in June, take July off and then resume their regular meetings in August.
Among the items to be covered at the annual meeting are:
- Election of officers. Board members serve two-year terms, but the terms were staggered to allow for continuity among the officers, Wright said.
The positions up for election this year are vice-president, secretary and two at-large positions. The president, treasurer and other at-large member will be up for election the in May 2023.
“If you have all seven turn over at the same time, sometimes notes get lost and processes get lost in the translation,” Wright said.
- Approval of any expenditures over $10,000. Wright said the boosters won’t have any expenditures of that amount this year, but the organization could next year. He mentioned the idea of the boosters raising money for the installation of an artificial turf playing surface at Jerry Rutherford Stadium at Freedom Field.
Wood County Fair workers
The boosters reached an agreement with the Wood County Fair Board to provide all of the gate workers for the fair Aug. 1-7.
“We feel it’s a really good opportunity for Eastwood athletics to raise a large chunk of money right at the beginning of the school year,” Wright said. “The amount of money we’re getting is going to be large enough, it’s going to benefit lots and lots of groups.
“It’s an opportunity for students and our parents to have exposure in the community,” Wright added. “Eastwood has always had a lot of great kids, a lot of kids who are involved in the farm aspect and the activities at the fair. It’s a good chance to promote Eastwood athletics in the community. Most families are already going to the fair.”
Wright said the boosters are finalizing the details, including how the shifts will be divided and how many workers will be needed.
Wright said he a letter to every high school and middle school coach to “gauge interest” in working the gate at the fair.
“The response was overwhelmingly positive,” Wright said. “The vast majority of the coaches responded by not only saying are in they in support of this, but they’re willing to do anything and everything to help out.”
Coaches, athletes and their parents also will be used to work the gates.
“People are surprised how much fun it is because we’re a small community,” Wright said. “When you do this stuff, you know half the people there. The fun thing about this is there is a large percentage of our student-athletes, parents and coaches who already find themselves at the fair at some point during the week.
“Having the entire Eastwood community on board is going to be a necessity to pull this off,” Wright added. “It’s vast and it’s a lot, but Eastwood people have a track record of stepping up when it’s needed.”
The reverse raffle is Jan. 14 at the Pemberville American Legion, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets will be $100 each, and there are plans to offer a dinner-only ticket.
“They used to do the reverse raffle, and it was a great fundraiser for the boosters,” Wright said. “We wanted to bring that back, but we really wanted to place an emphasis on having something fun, that people look forward to every year.”
The boosters still are brainstorming ideas for the raffle, but Wright said one of the top ideas for the theme so far is a casino night.
“One of the ideas that has been floated out there, which I’ve been to with other fundraisers, is a casino night,” Wright said. “I thought that would be a lot of fun.”
If the raffle is a casino night, Wright said the dealers would be familiar faces in the Eastwood community. The night probably would include a silent auction.
“We want to make it an evening that people will look forward to going to next year,” Wright said.
Tickets will be available online or through any boosters member.
The boosters will announce at their May meeting the winners of four $1,000 scholarships to seniors who participated in varsity athletics.
Those who applied for the scholarship had to write an essay detailing a lesson/key takeaway they learned from participating in sports at Eastwood, and how that will affect their life in the future.
There is no minimum grade-point average required and no minimum requirement for the number of letters earned or sports played.
“A big foundation of the athletic boosters is the people involved feel athletics play an important role in developing young men and women,” Wright said. “We wanted to hear from them first-hand how sports played an important role in developing their future.”
Nineteen athletes applied for the scholarship.
The winners were decided by the organization’s board members. Wright said each board member ranked their top four in order, and the votes were tallied from that to decide the winners. The submissions were numbered, so the athletes were anonymous when their essays were read.
“As a board, we were blown away by the essays,” Wright said. “It was really amazing. It was really rewarding reading those. We all experienced this because we were a part of it, but seeing these kids are still taking away such valuable lessons in life, we wish we could have given away 19 scholarships. The essays were that good.”
Because the boosters are only in their first year, Wright was pleased the organization could award scholarships to the seniors.
“It was good we did this because we’ve asked for everyone’s support, not just parents of middle schoolers or underclassmen,” Wright said. “We’re getting support from parents of juniors and seniors, and one of the vows we made when we started this was everyone will be rewarded from this, not just the up-and-coming athletes. There are seniors who, at least, received some benefit from the boosters who had money donated this year.”
The event is a four-person scramble with registration at 7:30 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $100 per player.
Advance entries should be sent to Chet Welch, 130 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg, 43551. Checks should be made payable to the Eastwood Athletic Boosters.
For more information on the golf part of the event, contact Welch at (419) 215-4482 or Mick Foster at (419) 348-4934.
Sponsorship opportunities are available, too.
For more information on sponsorships, contact Foster at (419) 348-4934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.