Oxford Chargers are nothing short of impressive from baseball to basketball to football. The student-athletes in the school district work hard for their awards, and a little boost helped them excel at their goals.
Oxford Charger Booster Club is the wind beneath the wings for the student-athletes, their coaches and the Oxford Athletic Department. Now the Booster Club is calling on the Oxford community to help the organization raise $75,000 at its annual Booster & Blues event that will be held Saturday, August 13 at The Library.
Oxford Booster Club’s vice president, Geoffrey Yoste, said, “The Oxford Chargers Boosters & Blues Event last year was the single biggest fundraiser to date for Oxford Charger Sports and we fully expect it to grow each year. I am especially thankful for all the parents who volunteer not only their time to their child’s teams but to support the Charger Booster Club which helps all teams.”
He said that last year the Booster club raised over $50,000 and this year he aims to raise $75,000 to help develop a cross-country trail around the Oxford High School building so that the school district may be able to host competitions. Yoste added that the club also expects to lend financial support to the school district’s Debate Club.
Yoste is especially excited for the featured band at the annual fundraiser: The White Animals.
He said, “The White Animals is a band that was really big in the ’80s at Ole Miss and around the SEC. They probably are similar to REM and the Alarm. A lot of Charger Parents remember them well. Some of the younger parents may not know them but they are sure to enjoy them as well.”
Local companies and individuals are welcome to become a Blue or Gold sponsors for donations of $500 and $1,000 respectively. They will have not only the tickets but special recognition at athletic events along with signage, social media promotion and a premium Charger Swag Bag. For $150, individuals may become Charger Hosts who will receive tickets to the event as well as Charger swag bags.
“We had 85 last year, and we hoped to have more than 100 this year,” Yoste said. “Now we have hit our goal of 150 Charger Hosts and each couple paid $150. That is a profit of $22,500 and the event is still just under two weeks away.”
Individual tickets for the annual event are $50 apiece, and they may be bought at Oxford School District office next to Oxford Middle School, at University Sporting Goods and from a Booster Club Board Member. To find out more about the Booster Club Board, visit www.oxford.k12.ms.us/BoosterClub.
The Oxford Charger Booster Club has gone to great lengths to help the school district’s athletics. Yoste says the club helps with just “about everything else” from paying for a portion of state championship rings to letterman jackets for varsity athletes.
“At the end of the 2015 school year, we gave $105,000 to them,” Yoste said.
In the $105,000 spent, the Booster Club helped provide three weight rooms at Oxford High School, Oxford Middle School and the field house as well as installing new nets in the indoor batting facility for the baseball teams.
“We are baseball’s largest contributor at $5,500 for the renovation of the Oxford High School baseball field,” Yoste said.
The club also helped pay for travel expenses including airline tickets to New York City for the indoor track team, hotel rooms in Orlando for the cheerleaders to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Championship as well as hotel rooms for girls’ basketball team, boys’ soccer team and the cross country team. The Booster Club also provided charter buses for the Oxford High School football, basketball and girls’ soccer teams.
Yoste mentioned that the Booster Club also paid for a startup subscription to Hudl to feature all Oxford Middle School and Oxford High School sports. “This is the new technology that the colleges use and we are on the front end of it,” Yoste said.
Oxford High School’s athletic director, Mike Martin is grateful for the opportunity to feature student-athletes on Hudl.
“The Hudl has video filming which almost half of our athletics teams use now that (the Booster Club) has purchased and set it up for them to be able to use,” Martin said. “Otherwise, each team would have to pay for their own (filming) and it would have been a nice percentage of their budget to pay for it.”
The Booster Club’s generosity is not underappreciated by the school district’s athletics department.
Martin said, “I could go on and on of the different ways that the Booster Club has helped our athletic programs and still forget many of them. If you name it, they support it. Rarely have I been in a meeting where they weren’t supportive of whatever the kids and the coaches needed for their programs.”
While the Booster Club helping in part to foot the bill for the state championship rings may seem obvious, Martin stated that the club’s significant contribution towards buying the rings was a tremendous help as the Chargers went to six state championships last spring.
Several coaches are appreciative of the Booster Club’s support, including Oxford High School Lady Chargers’ basketball coach Cliff Ormon.
Ormon shared a story of how Geoffrey Yoste surprised his basketball team with pizza “out of the blue” at the end of the summer.
“Little things like that… our kids noticed it and they were very appreciative,” Ormon said, “I hope they don’t take these things for granted. It’s amazing on the work the Booster Club does behind the scenes in providing them the opportunities. Another one off the top of my head is that last year, we did a letterman jacket presentation for our athletes – just something that you think is something that is normal…but at every school, that would be an unbelievable thing.”
Ormon shared how the Booster Club provided every basketball player from ninth-grade to junior varsity to varsity with travel bags which the Lady Chargers brought to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the Smoky Mountain Classic. The organization also helped pay for half of the traveling costs to Gatlinburg.
The Lady Chargers’ coach said he feels a relief knowing that he and the student-athletes could do things “outside the realm of normal” because of the Oxford Charger Booster Club. The high school athletics’ director agreed with Ormon.
Martin said, “I could sit here for 45 minutes and still forget 20 or 30 items that they have come forth to help us with athletically that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise to the tune of over a $100,000 dollars. There was not an athletic team in our school district that did not have a contribution made to them.”
To keep up with the Oxford Charger Booster Club, visit them on Facebook.com/OxfordChargerBoosterClub or visit them online. Follow it on Twitter @ChargerBooster and on Instagram @OxfordChargerBoosterClub.
Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.