Amidst the sticky air and frantic atmosphere of the snack bar, the dedicated parents of the RHS Booster Club rapidly count change and vend food to masses of students. They put in countless hours of fundraising, planning and advertising for the benefit of the athletes, but their steady commitments have been under wraps.
Manning the snack bar offers a completely different experience at games than that of a spectator. While the spectators move at their leisure, the parent clerks of the snack bar have a more hectic agenda.
“It does seem like chaos and is, and there’s things flying all over the place, but it is actually ordered chaos,” said Hillary Clagget, head of the snack bar. These volunteers take hours out of their work schedule to fuel the system behind the snack bar. It is set up so that each person is in charge of one station; someone will man the drinks, while another will act as the cashier so that everything is organized and accounted for. This fluid system has led to success.
The revenue generated from this system is divided among several school programs. Around 65 percent is given to athletics, 20 percent to the marching band and 15 percent to the Journalism Academy. Their funds have helped the girls’ softball team get new dugouts, the basketball teams get new ball holders, and the marching band update their percussion equipment get and a new sound system.
The physical benefits of parent aid cannot compare to the emotional support they provide. “I love having my parents come and support me. It makes me feel like I am not alone and that I always have someone there,” said junior Maura Monroe varsity soccer player. The fact that the Booster club is parent run is one of the many things that make it so very special. The thing these parents truly strive for is showing that all sports teams and clubs are an important part of the RHS community.
But even with the encouragement and donations that these parents receive, they are given no compensation or formal praise. Some might expect that they would receive a plaque or reward as a token of gratitude, but their true reward is not tangible. Most parents said that their compensation was the pleasure of being able to watch their children and peers grow-up and make the community as closely-knit as possible.
Marching Band Director Phil Barnes said, “[the parents] basically do everything that’s necessary so that all the students have to worry about is performing and all I have to worry about is directing.” The motivation for this stems from the parents’ connections to RHS. They usually start volunteering when their child is a freshman and stay until even after they have graduated. Last year’s Booster Club President Sandy Minger keeps volunteering, even though her son, Will Minger, graduated in 2012.
This kind of commitment is a model to the students of RHS. It shows them how support can reap benefits and that every promise should be a sure one. Not only has the Booster Club provided quality parental support. Groups such as the PTSA, FORM, and the Music Booster Club help raise funds and support academics and other programs that the Booster Club doesn’t directly sponsor.
The parents of the Booster Club reinforce important values that are sometimes lost amid the bustle of academics; values such as commitment and school pride, without which RHS would not be united.