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Baseball is not all about fundraising

By Staff | Feb 16, 2014

A recent comment in the Journal Junction section of our sister paper sparked an outcry from long-time supporters of Jefferson High baseball. After receiving several calls about the comment that condemned the school’s booster club for considering selling “prime” parking spaces, I sat in on their evening meeting to discuss the issue.

Current president Ronnie Crockett started the discussion by saying that he felt the comment put out in the anonymous forum was out of line. The issue of selling the spaces, he said, had not been voted on by the membership of the boosters.

The group did, however, move to approve the idea of selling the 28 spots that face Sager Field at a cost of $100 per spot. In addition, the individual who purchased the spot would be required to purchase a season pass to the games from the school’s athletic department at an additional cost.

Coach John Lowery stressed that the idea must be submitted to the Board of Education for approval. It was clarified that the idea had received initial approval from Athletic Director Jay Kirby and now former principal Howard Guth.

After sitting through their discussion and even asking some questions about who could actually purchase the spots, I must say that the idea is not one of the best the group has come up with.

First, the spots will, according to the approved presentation given by member Jim Price, be offered to booster members. Then spots could be made available to “general public.” It is completely unclear how the “general public” is to find out about the spots.

Of course the Junction comment brought the issue to the attention of some, especially long-time supporters of the program. Some of those individuals who called The Chronicle stressed that they have been following the baseball program since its start and attend all the games, parking in those spots. These individuals do not have the funds to put forth just so they can sit in their vehicle to watch the game.

While it is true that there are thousands of spots to park at JHS, and that Washington High School apparently sells premium spots for their football season, those spots are not within the sight line of watching the game.

The boosters discussed at least six other fundraising activities ongoing that potentially can bring in significant sums of money. To eliminate parking spaces within the sight line of the field that are used by many older fans who already pay admission to come into the games is not necessary to garner more funds.

A group that has raised more than $26,000 since July of 2013 doesn’t need to take these few spots from those who want to support the players of JHS baseball by watching the games. We would encourage the Board of Education to deny approval to this request.