There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make a child’s experience in school sports a memorable one. It is a group effort by parents, various organizations and other individuals who all volunteer their time to make sure the season runs smoothly.
Sometimes cost is an issue as each program’s needs can change as the season unfolds. When that issue arises, the Altus All-Sports Association is there to pick up the slack and provide whatever assistance it can to those participating in sports in the Altus Public Schools system.
The association has been doing this now for 30 years and in that time, they have raised and donated over $500,00 to the Altus school system.
They are able to do this through membership sales and other fundraisers.
“We sell memberships and hold a golf tournament and a fun run every year and put the money raised into discretionary funds for each sport to use as they see fit for items that will stay within the program,” All-Sports Association President Leah Herring said. “We purchased the iPads and software that the football team carries on the sidelines, floor cleaners for the basketball courts, mats for the wrestling program, and we also purchase all the letter jackets for athletes who have lettered for the first time.”
In just the 2015-16 school year, the Association donated $22,000 to the Altus High School sports programs, and they expect that number to rise each year.
After completion of the weight room at the high school, the association purchased $60,000 worth of gym equipment for the high school, outfitting the facility with top of the line equipment to better prepare the athletes for what is to come on the court or on the field.
“This year we have 26 board members and all of us are volunteers. I got involved when my children were in high school and my son and daughter both were cross country runners. Even after they graduated, I stayed on the board because the kids need someone to support them,” Herring said. “Our community is great about doing that and it makes my job on the board easy. We have burger burns at every home football games. Burger King has sponsored us and provides all of the stuff for our hamburgers and Bar-S also always sponsors. There are a lot of businesses that buy our large membership and sponsor us. Those memberships allow them to sit in the Hall of Champions’ seating beneath the reserved seating where there is free popcorn and sodas and we have five flat screen televisions so you can continue to watch the game while you’re down there.”
In February, the Association puts on the Cupid Fun Run, and in June they put on their own golf tournament to help with fundraising efforts.
All of the money goes back into the school sports programs to help continue providing for local athletes. The All-Sports Association just began mailing out business membership information recently for all interested.
For more information, contact Herring at 580-471-9989.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.