Fundraising is Now a High School Sport

Budget woes have forced fundraising to the forefront of high school sports

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Finally, there is a place for nerds and brainiacs on high school sports teams.

    With so many schools in Miami-Dade hurting in the pocketbooks, teams aren't only looking for the best athletes, but also the people with the best ideas for fundraisers. No better example than at Michael Krop High in northeast Miami-Dade.

    High School Athletes Lend Helping Hands

    [MI] High School Athletes Lend Helping Hands
    Public schools in Miami look for any way to support athletics, including benefit rock shows, golf tournaments and even calendars.

    A few weeks ago, Krop hosted nationally known teen sensation Tiffany Giardina. The singer and her band played to about 400 screaming kids and raised nearly $8,000 for the school's athletic program.

    This past weekend, the school held a benefit golf tournament that brought in $4,000.

    And now the baseball team is about to strike a pose in a new team calender.

    "Unfortunately, with everything going on in public education today, we have to find new and novel ways to support our athletics and our activities," said principal Matthew Welker.

    Miami high school sports have turned out some of the best and most well-known athletes in professional sports today, but that matters little when budget constraints require deep cuts. Statewide, sports programs were among the first to be offered up to the chopping block.

    Athletics were ultimately spared, but the situation hasn't improved.

    At Krop, players and coaches hope the baseball calenders, which are all PG, will raise $10,000 for the athletic program. The student athletes' willingness to go vogue only showed a small part of the will to do just about anything to keep the balls rolling, bats swinging, and helmets crashing.

    That includes playing groundskeeper on the baseball field. Part of the money raised will go toward maintaining the team's ball fields, an expense that used to be paid for by the county.

    The players spend hundreds of hours pulling weeds, creating their own field of dreams, while getting it in shape for games. In this economic climate, the school is lucky it can field a team. Worrying about the actual field is secondary.

    "I would not like to go to that point, I'm going do my very best to avoid that because reality is, many students come to school for those activities and for those sports," Welker said.