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MHS Booster Club to unite programs

Club revamps fundraising efforts
The Madras High School Booster Club is undergoing operational changes for the upcoming school year.
   Working with newly acquired MHS athletic director Rory Oster, the Booster Club is helping to unite athletic and activity fundraising programs.
   "Everyone is coming together, instead of each program fending for themselves," said MHS Booster Club president Laura Rehwinkel. "We're doing this because of the budget crunch, and we want to help elevate fundraising for our high school."
   In the past, the MHS Booster Club has operated as a supplemental fundraising organization by primarily raising funds through apparel and pizza sales, and hoop shoot tickets, while each individual athletic program or after-school activity raised funds on their own. But, a plan is being developed to create one main fundraising operation ran by the MHS Booster Club.
   "Essentially, the Booster Club will create and organize big fundraisers, and we as a staff will serve and work the events," Oster said. `The money raised will go into one account and the Booster Club will vote as to how those funds will be dispersed to each program."
   The idea is driven to take stress off coaches and business owners, and at the same time create big community events that aim to support Madras High School.
   "Coaches are spending hours and hours fundraising and not coaching," Oster said. "As a former coach, I love being at and helping with the fundraisers, but it seemed overwhelming to coach and organize big fundraisers."
   Area businesses may also see a relief as well, considering that from MHS alone, they could be asked for money from upwards to 16 varsity coaches alone in a single year.
   "We certainly hope that our plan will ease pressure on businesses," said MHS Booster Club vice president Al Short. "We're moving more towards a sponsorship program, so that businesses are approached just one time a year by the high school."
   Oster and MHS Booster Club members are creating a plan where businesses will be approached and asked to buy into a sponsorship level. Depending on the sponsorship level, different incentives will be rewarded to the business."
   "For example, if a business were to purchase a gold sponsorship, they would get banners at all sporting events, free tickets and so on," Oster said. "We're in the process of seeing exactly what those packages will look like."
   While the plan seems as if it could unite the high school, some hurdles will need to be cleared.
   "I'm sure there will be some challenges and it will take a lot of work and collaboration from us, parents, coaches and Rory," Rehwinkel said. "We are still in the planning stages, but we're excited for what's to come."
   The MHS Booster Club consists of roughly 20 members, but part of the new plan is to involve more parents.
   "It will mean everything to gain more support from parents," Short said. "I think some of the annual events we are planning will be more exciting and more fun for parents to participate in."
   While the MHS Booster Club will act as the fundraising foundation, programs will still be pushed to host small fundraisers like car washes and can drives.
   "We still want to encourage our programs to host small fundraisers, but the goal with this new plan is to grow together," Oster said. "We want to create neat things that everyone wants to be a part of in our community. We have a very hard working Booster Club, but it takes more than that. It will take a massive parent involvement and us as a department to work strongly with the Booster Club."
   The MHS Booster club will host a meeting Aug. 27, and after that meeting, more details about its fundraising plan will emerge. Those seeking more information are encouraged to call Rehwinkel at 541-460-3109 or Short at 541-980-4850.
   "This is a huge commitment by the Booster Club," Oster said. "They have a big vision, and we're going to support it."