Benefits of the Booster Club


Bo Dalrymple, Online Editor

A common misconception in public schools is that funding for sports is provided solely by the school system, payed for the same way as textbooks, facilities or staff. In reality, the sports teams at Reynolds, and commonly across the district, are not funded fully by the schools themselves, making sports less accessible for many students. 

For those already dependent on the school system for various things, the added costs of participating in sports can often be too much. The combination of player fees, tickets and equipment costs form a formidable weight on many families who do not have the means to support their children. This indicates that equal access to sports is not guaranteed to all kids across the county.

In an effort to ease the burden, the RJ Reynolds Booster Club provides funding for all sports, covering what the school can not afford to pay for. This commonly includes team uniforms and certain equipment to be used at practice or for field management.

Additionally, the Booster Club tends to requests by teams that are not immediate needs in order for them to function. This includes non-conference event fees, apparel or hotel costs.

The school system pays for the expenses “inside the lines,” including referees, fields and certain equipment costs. This support from the school is for officially sanctioned high school sports by the NCHSAA. However, costs that do not directly translate to on-field needs must be covered by the Booster Club or the team itself.

“If a team wants a specific item, like something to use at practice, they can request funds from the booster club or do a fundraiser,” Athletic Director Brad Fisher said. “For things that the kids keep, it’s their responsibility to purchase or the team to raise the funds to buy for them.”

Because so little can be covered by the school itself, the RJR Booster Club, comprised of a board of parents, is instrumental in the success of each sports team.

Any sports team may make a team request,” Booster Club President Lyndsay Foster said. “The coach makes a written request and submits it to the Athletic Director, who then presents the request to the Booster Club and it is voted on.”

To make this all function however, the Booster Club relies on Legacy donations, individual donations and fundraisers. 

“Last year we raised $10,000 through a rummage sale, and this year we are having another rummage sale on April 25th in the auxiliary gym,” Foster said. “We also just had our first reverse raffle, the final number is not in yet but it raised around $16,000.”

The generous donations by current and past Reynolds parents and alumni allow for the Booster Club to take on expensive projects. 

Among the many costs for the Booster Club this year have been $3,800 for football, soccer, basketball and lacrosse to have HUDL, which provides game footage for improvement; $3,000-5,000 for equipment repair for the tractors, mowers, gators, and irrigation systems on fields; $15,000-17,000 to help maintain the baseball field, Reynolda Road practice field and Bolton Field by mowing, seeding and top dressing; $7,500 towards team uniforms; $1,000 towards equipment in the weight room; $8,000 for team requests this school year and $1,000 towards a golf tournament.

In order to assist the school on the significant costs that go into funding sports each and every year, the Booster Club relies on support from the benevolent Reynolds community. The next event will be on April 25th in the auxiliary gym for the Booster Club rummage sale.