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This school organization helps hundreds of students who participate in athletics in the Wapakoneta City School system.
The Wapakoneta Athletic Boosters, consisting of members off the former Dad’s Club and other parent organizations, exists to help the sanctioned sports offered at Wapakoneta High School and Wapakoneta Middle School through donations.
This year, Wapakoneta Athletic Booster President Dave Acheson wants to continue building the club’s funds to help the various sports as they do every year, but he said he also is looking to swell the rolls of membership.
“This year I really am looking at ways to attract new members and grow our membership,” Acheson said. “The meetings are typically an hour, if they can just come and support us for an hour and we would like to have representatives from each sport because right now we do not have representation from every sport and that hurts us.
“My big thing is to get new members, new blood, so we can get new ideas and to keep the organization going,” he said. “My thought is if we can help the sports teams and just one kid gets a scholarship then it is all worth it — it’s a win-win for the kids. If they can better themselves through sports and get that college education, we have done our job.”
Members are expected to attend the meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. the first Monday of each month at Wapakoneta High School.
Acheson said he also would like people to help by volunteering to work the 50-50 drawing at basketball games and other events at the football games.
With more members, Acheson said the load can be shared by more people, and it also helps with parents and students build pride in the various programs.
The students help with one fundraiser.
On March 16, student-athletes will go door-to-door seeking donations for the Athletic Boosters. They hit the streets at 9 a.m. and end at noon.
Students and parents help with a second fundraiser held nearly a month later.
Alan Nott car dealers offers a program where they typically bring down three Hondas and three Toyotas for people to test drive. This year the event is April 6 and the Athletic Boosters receive $20 per person, up to $2,500.
“This is one of the easiest fundraisers that we can have,” Acheson said. “The event starts at 10 a.m. and they can contact me or Brad Rex at the Athletic Department. We just need people to come out and test drive the cars.
“We (my wife and i) went out and they never pressured us at all to buy, and my wife and I really enjoyed having a chance to drive a new car,” he said.
People are signed up on a sheet and show up at Wapakoneta High School to test drive the vehicles. They only need to provide a telephone number and an email address.
In the past year, the Wapakoneta Athletic Boosters have helped the school build a new facility and recover two existing fields hit hard by the June 29 wind storm. The help is all part of an effort to be best and have the student-athletes compete on the best in the region
“I feel our focus right now is to make our athletic facilities better and make them the best in the Western Buckeye League and in west-central and northwest Ohio — I am talking every facility,” Acheson said. “We put $30,000 into the new tennis courts at the high school, we contributed $40,000 toward the baseball dugouts and we helped Brad Rex with moving the fences in at the softball field so fans have better lines of sight.
“I would like to see us have the best of everything,” he said.
One project they anticipate helping with this year is Operations Director Mike Watt is investigating installing a new scoreboard at the north end of the field. They plan to help with the cost to replace the old scoreboard which has been malfunctioning more and more.