Boosting school athletic programs

Camas Boosters kick off brick campaign to raise money for purchasing uniforms, equipment

Ever wonder what helps fund the purchase of uniforms, helmets, computers and other technology for Camas school athletic programs?

Often, it’s the Camas Athletic Boosters, a volunteer board of parents, community members and school district employees, whose sole purpose is to enhance opportunities for students competing in athletics.

The group also awards two, $3,000 college scholarships each school year.

“Involvement in sports plays an important role in the development of our student athlete’s life skills,” said Wanda Miller, president. “Playing sports teaches discipline, team work, social skills and keeps our youth healthy and active.”

The organization was started in 1994 to help bridge the gap in funding for athletics at both the middle and high school level.

“It’s just not in the budget to outfit 400 kids for track,” said Ryan Dickerson, vice president. “That’s where we come in.”

A recent purchase was $15,000 worth of new helmets for the middle school football program.

“We buy a lot of the uniforms and the big pieces of equipment that the school cannot afford,” added Miller.

Recently, the club kicked off a brick fundraiser campaign. People buy bricks that are inscribed with names, which will be placed for all Papermakers and fans to see at Doc Harris Stadium.

“It’s a way for people who have gone to school here or have children or grandchildren here to really leave their mark,” Dickerson said. “I have a brick that says I graduated in 1996.”

Added Miller, “You can put just about anything on it.”

The Boosters are hoping to sell at least 50 bricks per year.

“As people see them, I think it will be more in demand,” Miller said.

Other fundraisers include an annual golf tournament in September, casino night, and the sale of concessions at Doc Harris Stadium during the football season and at the schools during other sporting events. The group also sells scarves, stadium chairs and coffee mugs.

“We are a 100 percent, volunteer organization and are always looking for (more) volunteers,” Dickerson said. “It doesn’t have to be a big commitment, just helping out at an event.”

Since 2011, the Boosters have spent $225,000 helping to fund athletics for Camas students.

The May casino night and September golf tournament raised $28,000 and $35,000, respectively.

“We have come a long way,” Miller said. “Our Camas students thrive with the help of our community support.”

For more information about the Camas Athletic Boosters, visit www.camasboosters.org.

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