Booster Club helps propel athletes to success

Julia Fine

From field hockey goals, to spirit wear, new uniforms, to scoreboards, you name it, the Booster Club has covered it. Yet, despite all their efforts, many people in the community still remain unaware of all of the work they do for RM Athletics. The team of parents and staff provide financial support while also promoting school spirit within the student body. Over the years, each member has become a key player in keeping school functions running smoothly, from behind the scenes. 

Athletic director, Daniel Whitlow, works closely with the Booster Club to help communicate with community members  while focusing on what the teams need. “We work closely with the Athletic Specialist and the Principle in determining what the Boosters can contribute to offset the costs of items needed,” Booster Club president Stephanie Weaver said. In some instances, the county will cover the costs, in others, the Boosters agree to commit a specific amount toward the purchase of the item.” 

Budget has always been an obstacle, as MCPS provides less than $55,000 annually, which then has to be divided among teams on a need-to basis. For Richard Montgomery athletics, many costs are not filled by the county’s support such as maintenance and replacement of equipment. The Booster Club’s main mission is to support athletics and students with the help they need. 

“Without the Booster Club – we wouldn’t have updated and nice uniforms/equipment/supplies – and more essentials needed to run a high quality athletic program,” Whitlow said.  

In the last few years, the Booster Club has aided teams in various different ways. According to Whitlow, some examples include the new weight room nautilus station and personalized RM dumbbell sets in the weight room. The weight room, which is used by a majority of teams in the school, provides a way to improve the fitness and strength of RM’s athletes. With the new equipment funded by the Booster Club, it gives more opportunities for students and athletes to get in a workout outside of practice.

The club has also funded new uniforms for the track and cross country team, a new high jump mat, and various pieces of equipment and pads. All of these items are essential to teams and would not be possible without the support of the boosters. The club already has plans for what they want to achieve this year, and in the future.  

For instance, RM will be getting a new scorer’s table for the volleyball and basketball teams,” Weaver said.  

Some of the club’s long term goals include renovating the softball and baseball fields, adding a sound system, and an even better scoreboard.  With these additions, the Booster Club hopes to improve the quality of games for players and fans. 

In order to provide teams with the financial support they need, the Booster Club hosts many fundraisers throughout the year. One of the booster club’s main fundraisers of the year is the Mulch Sale. Last year, the club relaunched the sale after a two year long break due to COVID-19 and had big success. During the mulch sale, student-athletes and parents help distribute bags of mulch to families who purchased it. This fundraiser involves the work of many, but results in success and funds for the club. 

“[The mulch sale] is our biggest fundraiser for the year and requires a lot of help from students, parents, and community members to make the event successful,” Weaver said. “Even though we were still navigating through continued COVID-19 protocols, the community supported us through sales and the student/parent volunteers made the process of delivering the mulch smooth.”

Another way the club raises money is through the concession stands at games. With the help of burger, pizza, snack, and drink sales, the Booster Club generates revenue to put into school functions and sports. Parents and families also have the opportunity to lend a hand and volunteer to help run the concession stands for fans. 

Lastly, the Booster Club raises money through corporate ads that are posted around the school. One example would be in the gym, where there are banners of different companies hung on the wall. 

No matter the circumstances, the Booster Club’s first priority is always the students, and they strive to fulfill their needs in the best way possible. “We would love to receive feedback from the students, whether you are an athlete or not,” Weaver said. “We want to know how you would like to be recognized for your hard work, how we can unite the school with the Rocket Spirit, and how we can impact your experience at RM in the most positive way possible.”