ROCK SPRINGS — RSHS assistant principal and activities director Thomas Jassman appeared before the Sweetwater County School District #1 Board of Trustees to lay out his plans to reorganize how fundraising is done for activities and athletics.
Two Fundamental Problems
As Jassman saw it, there are two fundamental problems under the current fundraising methods. First, businesses get hit up too often for donations, and secondly but no less important, coaches and even students are having to spend too much time doing fundraising activities to cover expenses beyond those provided for in the general fund.
Businesses are being hit up for donations multiple times per year, Jassman said. He provided an example of one business owner who was asked to donate to RSHS activities programs literally dozens of times before the first semester was even over.
“’I love Rock Springs High School. I love the Tigers, but I’ve been hit up to donate 54 times’” between the start of the school year last August and January, Jassman quoted the business owner as saying.
Coaches are already busy enough without having fundraising put on them, Jassman continued.
Students who participate in extracurricular school activities, and their parents, also have to devote time to fundraising.
“Let coaches coach, let players play, and let parents be parents,” Jassman proclaimed.
Currently, some students may feel that they have to succeed at fundraising as part of their requirement for playing time, the activities director said, and that needs to stop.
“Players may feel that’s where their focus is to get in the game, and we need to take that away,” Jasssman declared.
A New Way to Donate
In the future, Jassman said he would like to see businesses be asked to contribute less often, with different categories of donation established, such as $10,000 or more, $5,000 or more, $1,000 or more, $500-$1,000, and so on.
Recognition would be given to the different businesses with a plaque at Tiger Arena and Tiger Stadium.
There would also be different perks provided for donors, such as reserved seating, preferential parking, advertising, and season tickets for all events.
The money donated by the different businesses around town would be channeled to a “Funds Distribution Committee”, Jassman said, which would ensure multi-sport funding for items such as scoreboards or strength training equipment. Businesses would be kept informed regarding how their donations are being spent.
A Large Benefit Event for Activities
In place of the multiple donation requests per year, Jassman said he envisions a weekend “RSHS Activities/Athletics Benefit” event.
As part of that, vendors would contribute a percentage of their take to RSHS activities and events.
The new way of doing things would be a long-term solution to activities fundraising, not a short-term solution, Jassman said, with increased communication with local businesses to gain support for the fundraising program, and to assist with establishing the fundraising benefit event date and time.
Jassman left no doubt about the good that comes from activities and athletics. “Every coach can identify one or two students who if they hadn’t had that activity or that program, who knows where that student would be today.”
“It sounds like a great program and we wish you all the luck,” board chairman Lenny Hay said.