Boosters worried about upcoming fall sports seasons, say they may not raise enough money this year

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DUNLAP, Ill (WMBD) — For student athletes in highschool, a booster club often provide them with things the school can’t. In some cases it’s new uniforms, bags and even scoreboards. However, with the IHSA’s latest decision to move some fall sports to the spring, some booster clubs are worried they may not have the funds needed to help out their hometown teams.

Those who represent their high school’s football team may be given more time to raise the money, as most sports are moving to the fall, but those who rely on football will have to brainstorm.

“We have no revenue coming in besides membership,” said Chris Broadhurst, President of the Dunlap High Booster Club. “Our big revenue generators are the 50/50 drawings during football games, and the concession stands during football games.”

For other clubs who rely on help from the community, this year is going to be tough, because the main source of revenue may not be able to help out, due to the pandemic.

“How can you ask businesses that have been closed, or that are in financial hardships themselves, how can you ask them for money,” said President of the Unit 5 “Friends of Ironmen Football”  Chrissy Rustemeyer.

If they aren’t able to raise the money they are used to having each year, they’ll have to cut corners and dip into savings, but even that may not be enough.

“The kids will, maybe not have the latest and greatest uniform or equipment,” said Chris Ayers, President of the Bloomington High Booster Club. “If the drama club comes to us and they want to go to state, and we are supposed to help them raise a couple thousand dollars to pay for travel, and we cant do that, that’s going to limit our ability to help.”

With big sports like football, soccer and volleyball moving to spring, Ayers says it buys them more time to give seniors a last season they’ll remember.

“Our hope as an organization is that we can figure out a way to navigate COVID, and be able to get these kids back to doing extra cirricular activities,” said Ayers. “For a lot of these students these activities are what keeps them motivated, and keeps them involved in high school.”

All three say they will ramp up fundraising efforts after learning all sports will be played this year.

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