Half of the varsity sports offered at Steamboat Springs High School are not funded by the school district.
That is where the Steamboat Springs Booster Club comes in. The club is a volunteer group dedicated to helping athletes and coaches as much as is financially possible.
Club president Ernie Jenkins, who is about to step down, isn't sure the community is aware of what the Booster Club does and who it helps. Although the non-funded sports, or Tier 2 sports, receive plenty of financial aid, the Booster Club also helps support funded high school sports and middle school athletics.
Without the Booster Club, many of the sports would struggle to make ends meet.
"Everything we raise we give back," Jenkins said. "We need people to come out and volunteer for the next few years while their kids are in school."
Last year, the Booster Club pledged a record $44,000 to the schools. Those funds came from membership dues, donations, program advertising, sports physicals, golf tournament concessions and a McDonald's pancake breakfast.
"If more people knew the need, they'd volunteer," Jenkins said. "It's fun stuff. It all deals with sports and the kids."
Two of the Booster Club's largest fund-raisers are this month, beginning with a golf tournament at the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club on May 17.
Athletes who raise more than $60 in pledges receive a day off of school to barbecue and play golf. This year, the Booster Club is looking for hole sponsors and team sponsors.
Team sponsors, who can be individuals or businesses, will have one member serve as a captain. He or she will be paired with three student golfers for the round of 18.
The cost is $110 to sponsor a hole or to be a team sponsor. The first 18 team sponsors will be accepted.
Another of the Booster Club's popular fund-raisers is the annual sports physicals given at Steamboat Medical Group. For $20, athletes of all ages can receive their physicals, which are good for the 2005-06 sports year. All athletes must have a completed physical to compete.
Proceeds from the sports physicals go to the Booster Club.
Pledge forms for the golf tournament and information about the sports physicals are available through Kate Parke at the high school office.