While the COVID-19 crisis has brought prep sports to a standstill, the Stoughton Sports Booster Club is finding ways to reach out to donors in a time where social distance is a necessity.
“We wish we were all at a football game or watching a cross country meet,” Stoughton Sports Booster Club President Steve Lyons said. “That doesn’t mean the needs are not still there. We are fortunate a number of our corporate and individual sponsors are still giving in these difficult times.”
There are 150 households in the Stoughton Area School District that are members of the booster club. For each member that renews their membership, joins for the first time, the booster club has launched a purple ribbon campaign. Each family, member or corporate sponsor that donates to the booster club will receive a purple ribbon tied around a tree in its yard.
“Our goal is to help with the needs of the athletes and anything outside the athletic budget can’t handle,” Lyons said. “Every dollar we make goes back to the athletic department. One of the things that we stress is the money goes to all of the athletes at the school.”
The purple ribbon campaign was a way to thank members for supporting SHS athletes.
“In these unique times we had to think outside the box,” Lyons said. “It’s a way to show united support for our athletes.”
Lyons said the booster club has donated about $100,000 to SHS athletic projects in the past three years.
The booster club purchased an arch for the finish line of cross country races, helped rebuild the locker rooms, upgrade the weight room, and purchase new wrestling mats and baseball pitching machines. The booster club also helps fund a portion of the new uniform rotation for each sport.
There are several projects the booster club is considering this year. Lyons said the club has discussed building a new press box for the football field, adding new lighting in the gym at the high school and adding spectator seating for tennis matches.
Every year, the booster club also provides four $1,000 scholarships for seniors.
“We are so proud of the relationship we have with athletic director Mel Dow and the athletic department,” Lyons said. “There are always needs.”