Liberty Union High School District (LUHSD) officials may make it official at their next board meeting, according to Gene Clare, LUHSD assistant superintendent.
“The board and Superintendent Mr. (Jerry) Glenn have indicated that because there’s such a good effort by the parents and the community that at this point, they’ll take formal action later, but all indicators are that freshman sports will be here this school year,” said Clare.
About two-thirds of the goal had been reached as of Sunday, said Clare as he watched Liberty High School Principal Tim Halloran get repeatedly dunked in a tank to raise money at a daylong fundraiser sponsored by Tailgaters restaurant. But fundraising proceeds from a variety of business that were tallied Monday at the district office put the effort over the top.
Bill Lohr, a co-owner of Tailgaters, donated the restaurant’s proceeds on Sunday along with money from the dunk tank, a silent auction, raffle and other activities. A variety of other East County businesses have also donated some of their profits to the cause in addition to various fundraising activities by sports booster clubs, the Brentwood Chamber and others.
“There’s 600 kids in jeopardy of not being able to play sports,” said Lohr on Sunday. “That’s 600 kids with nothing to do after school. We saw an opportunity that we could help out. A bunch of people in the community have helped out. Hopefully, we have a good showing today. I think they’re about $8,000 away from reaching the goal. I’m hoping that we can cut into that. Hopefully, by tomorrow we can have a sizable amount to give the city to save freshman sports. Sports are important; keep them out of trouble.”
In addition to keeping kids out of trouble, sports help bond them with their school’s community, according to Clare. “Freshman sports is the lead-in for the young people; connects them up with high school,” he said. “It’s extremely important for young people to get connected and get involved in activities such as sports their freshman year, so they have a good four years of high school. It connects them to the high school experience.”
In between dunks, Halloran cited the motivation that sports provide for kids to keep up their studies or risk losing eligibility to participate. “A lot of students, a lot of athletes, do better in school with sports just because they have to maintain grade point average,” he said. “So they generally get better grades. If that’s the reason they come to school, that’s what gets them to school.”
Scheduled to follow Halloran in the dunk tank were Heritage Principal Andy Parsons, Freedom Principal Eric Faulkner and Assistant Superintendent Eric Volta. The fundraiser included student athletes battling in a hot-wing eating contest.
Donations are still being accepted for this and other educational programs in the district. To make a donation, go online to www.educationwins.org, the Web site of the LUHSD Educational Foundation.