STHS develops game plan for fund-raising |

STHS develops game plan for fund-raising

Steve Yingling

Finger-pointing and whining aren’t South Tahoe High’s reactions to the resounding defeat of Measure L, even though that’s the response by some members in the community.

Needing approximately $100,000 next school year to keep all 24 of its athletic teams going, STHS administrators and coaches are already kicking around ideas on how to fund their athletic programs.

“This is something we can do,” said optimistic Don Borges, the school’s athletic director. “It’s going to be a burden on many families in Lake Tahoe, but we have support out there that we are going to tap into.

“We’ll see how the community responds to the dilemma in front of them.”

The athletic program funding crisis was created when the $60 annual parcel tax was defeated on April 13. Two elementary school closures, staff reductions and small class sizes are the primary casualties of the parcel tax’s defeat.

Outside of killing the programs by having parents absorb the cost of funding the sports, STHS’s administration has already met to discuss alternative plans.

Because California law doesn’t permit school districts to charge students fees for athletic participation, parent donations could keep some of the teams funded but that method of funding will likely kill the less popular sports.

The school is considering a variety of fund-raisers to alleviate some of the financial burden for students and their parents. Borges said that local businessman Al Moss and his band “The Riptides” has offered to help the school with a benefit performance.

“We need to come up with a plan of attack to solve the problem and start going to the community and service clubs,” Borges said.

Borges is adamant about keeping all 24 sports intact, hushing rumors that spring sports would be the first to go.

In the coming weeks school administrators will meet with all of their coaches to listen to their funding ideas.

“If there is a way to solve it, the coaches will find a way. We have real good people here at our school,” Borges said.

Now that our community has shown its selfish side by voting down school funding, it has a chance to make amends.

Because we live in a resort destination, there are a variety of ways money could be raised.

Celebrities are always looking for an excuse to come to Lake Tahoe. Given the celebrities that visit the South Shore in mid-July for the annual American Century Celebrity Championship, there is no reason to believe that one or more of the stars wouldn’t help out the local teams.

Former Major League Baseball star Steve Garvey appeared in Carson City earlier this month to raise money for Western Nevada Community College athletics. Admission to the dinner and auction was $75 for adults and $50 for children.

Golf tournaments and alumni basketball and soccer games could make a dent in the $100,000 total. Imagine the possibilities: How about the 1991-92 state basketball champions, featuring Jerod Haase and Brian Bruso, opposing the faculty or an alumni team, or what about getting one more chance to see Alex Torres and Leon Abravanel of the 2003 state soccer champion Vikings play the best of the local adult league?

Perhaps the casinos could contribute by holding a benefit boxing card or tennis exhibition, or one of the local ski resorts could lend a hand with a snowboard festival.

There are a variety of ways to fund-raise, but it’s a shame that the coaches who already put in so much time with little compensation have to surrender more of their personal time.

But the alternative isn’t acceptable. A high school without sports will leave too many teen-agers with too many idle hours.

– Tribune Sports Editor Steve

Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or

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