The Del Norte Football Boosters held their final events last week, putting on the Youth Football Camp July 15-17 and wrapping up with the Del Norte Football Boosters Golf Tournament over the weekend.
Now, after 10 years of raising money for the football team, the fundraising organization said they have disbanded at the request of Del Norte’s new head coach, Nick White.
“It isn’t anything that they weren’t doing,” said White. “I just didn’t want to go that direction.
“I want to be hands-on with all aspects of the program. They did a good job raising money, but I want to take on every aspect.
“I do want to say thank you for all of their hard work,” added White.
He said he prefers to be more directly involved with fundraising, which he believes will allow for a more comprehensive approach to the football program overall.
“If I have control of everything, I know exactly what to expect and what time the events are,” White said.
“It will just make it easier for me to plan throughout the whole year and there won’t be any surprises. I will know exactly what I need, exactly what the goal is and exactly how much I need to fundraise.
“It is definitely going to be more work, but I have people helping me, too.”
The request to disband caught members of the booster club a little off guard, said Del Norte Football Boosters president Nikki Stone, yet the decision ultimately rests with the head coach.
“We are sad, we are heartbroken, we are disappointed that we are not able to be utilized this year,” said Stone, “because we have done it for the kids for all of these years.
“We just want to express our gratitude for all of these years that we have been able to work with the community.”
In past years, the booster club has been in charge of all aspects of fundraising for the football team. The money raised helped provide everything from new uniforms, equipment, cameras for game film, and transportation, to out-of-town lodging and more.
This year, Stone said, the boosters already had raised money for new uniforms for the fall, and also have helped put together this year’s senior banners that were hung in downtown Crescent City in 2018 as part of a brand-new tradition.
She said that hanging the banners before the upcoming season will be the organization’s final official duty.
Stone calculated that the booster club has been responsible for raising $20,000 to $30,000 per season for the football team.
“Our community is so generous and overwhelmingly supportive of the football team, and we are so grateful to them,” Stone said. “We want to express our tremendous gratitude to everybody that has been a part of supporting the boosters.
“We also want to thank A.C. and Leslie Fields for putting on the golf tournament every year for the last nine years. That is a big fundraiser.
“The booster club couldn’t have done any of this without the overwhelming support of the community, and all of the families that have donated their time and money for team dinners, and the parents of kids who have donated countless hours of their time to run the snack bar or volunteer at one of our fundraisers.”
White said he knows how much money the team will need this season and is confident he can make it work.
“I always have a plan in place about how much money this year is going to cost with travel, expenses, food, uniforms, equipment and all that stuff,” he said.
“I also have an idea about how much money each fundraiser will be able to bring in.”
White said the football program plans on continuing the annual golf tournament, in addition to another fundraiser that will be coming in about a month.
“We just finished the golf tournament, which A.C. Fields does for us,” White said. “I will help him every year with running the tournament, but he does a really good job of running it and has been doing it for about 10 years now.
“Then we have our “Lift-a-thon” that will be coming up in a few weeks. I’m going to be handing the papers out for that on July 31 at the start of our fall camp.
“They will have a couple of weeks to go out and get donations. They can see if people want to do a per-pound deal or just a straight pledge.”
Additionally, White said, he is in the process of selling banner ads to place around the field throughout the season, similar to what the baseball team does each spring.
“It can be a family or a business, and those will be around the field,” White said. “I’m just getting those going right now and I have a lot of commitments for them.
“They will be 4 feet by 6 feet, and full-color. I want to get the community involved and show their support around the field. That is a big deal; I want the community’s support for the program,” he said.
“The kids love to see it and I think the community loves to see all those banners and everybody supporting the football team.”
White said the banners will be sold for $400 each.
Plans also are in the works for other, future fundraising opportunities. White said he is hoping to organize a flag-football tournament for adults 18 and older next summer, which he hopes will become an annual event.
“I would like to get 16 or more teams, if I can,” he said. “I figure people want to go out and throw the football around again.
“I think we can find a lot of teams interested in that, maybe even some from outside the community. Hopefully, that will become something that I can do every year and people look forward to it.”