Athletics assured for school year at Port Townsend's Blue Heron school
By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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About 300 people attended Saturday's Team Port Townsend benefit, featuring Seattle Seahawks assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel, at the Port Townsend Elks Club, according to Bob Carter, president of the Port Townsend Redskin Booster Club.
The fundraiser brought in money through ticket sales, auctions and direct contributions, Carter said, adding that the response was inspiring.
“The town has determined that sports is important, and they are doing an incredible job in supporting the programs,” he said.
The money will support football, basketball, baseball, track, cross-country, soccer, volleyball and wrestling at Blue Heron Middle.
Team Port Townsend, an arm of the booster club, was organized after the Port Townsend School District discontinued team sports for the seventh and eighth grades in 2011 because of a tight budget.
After a year without team sports, the booster club last spring raised the $60,000 necessary to finance the program for the current school year.
At the time, the school district estimated that a program would cost $85,000.
It committed to allocating the first $25,000 each year toward that cause, with the booster club raising the remainder.
Costly football helmets
Carter said this year is on track to cost perhaps only $60,000 — which means that up to $25,000 could be left over and possibly be put toward other expenses, such as football helmets that cost $250 each.
The $51,000 raised Saturday means the program is in great shape, he said.
Said Blue Heron Principal Diane Lashinsky: “This was a wonderful event. It was great to see people come together for something we value.”
Carter said the program already has made a positive impact on the school, since the seventh-grade football team ended the season with a 7-1 record.
“We had 125 kids try out this year,” Carter said. “That's 125 kids who had nothing to do last year.
“And it brought up their grades because there are requirements if they want to play sports.”
Donations can be sent to the Redskin Booster Club, P.O. Box 1219, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at email@example.com.
Last modified: March 12. 2013 6:02PM