Fundraisers bring teams closer together well also adding up the dough

A tree with many hands represents fundraising

A tree with many hands represents fundraising

Junior Owen Barber fulfilled team bonding, competition, and fundraising in one experience. 

Many sports teams at FHC have fundraisers since much of the equipment and other necessities cannot be paid for through the school.  The hockey team has two fundraisers this year: a can drive and a golf outing. 

Driving around picking up cans may not be the ideal way to spend time, but the hockey team captains decided to raise the stakes and make the can drive more intriguing. 

“Basically, the can drive is organized by members of the team,” Owen said. “We have three different teams within the hockey [program] with group leaders, and it’s to create some competitive incentive to raise more money and get more cans.” 

Money is clearly the objective of fundraisers, as it is essential to running a sports program.

A picture of FHC’s hockey team on the ice and geared up (Owen Barber)

Athletic director Jonathan Goei recognizes fundraisers, such as can drives, as a key aspect of many of the teams at FHC.

“I think people don’t realize how much it costs to operate a program,” Goei said. “One of our main objectives in athletics is to provide an experience and we want to do the best we can to provide our student-athletes with the best experience they can have. Some of that stuff happens outside the court or off the field or something like that, but there is a cost involved in all of that stuff. And equipment gets used and beat up over time and needs to be replaced pretty consistently.”

The can drive is an annual fundraiser intended to raise money for equipment and, as Goei puts it, the experience, but new this year is the golf outing. Owen is rather excited about the eighteen-hole experience. 

“This year we are doing something new; we are doing a golf outing,” Owen said. “People like family, friends, and anyone in the forest hills community can pay to play eighteen holes of golf at Thornapple Pointe, and all of the payments will go to the FHC hockey team.” 

These fundraisers are necessary since the school can’t provide everything. So, the money will go towards ice time, new equipment, and tournaments. 

One expense at many tournaments is a hotel. The dance team can attest to this as they perform fundraisers in hope of raising money for nationals which also requires hotel rooms. Senior Kaylin Scheuneman mentioned other expenses that the dance team has on their plate. 

The dance team this 2022-2023 school year (Kevin McPoland)

“So the majority of [the money] goes towards nationals; when we go to nationals, [which] we don’t go to every year, but lately we have been trying to go every year so it will go towards that,” Kaylin said. “It can also go towards our uniforms, new poms (like we got this year), also for  competition expenses and just random stuff here and there.”

All of those expenditures will get heavy rapidly, so having a multitude of fundraisers is both helpful and necessary.

“We do a few [fundraisers],” Kaylin said. “So we do vertical raise, there is a link that you can send to your friends, your parents, and your family, and they can donate money towards nationals. And then we also do a car wash, we do our pom clinic —where grades k through six can come and learn dances— and then we do a bunch of fundraisers at restaurants for a certain percentage of sales to come to us like [at] culvers and Panera, stuff like that.” 

There are many car wash scenes in popular teen movies, and the dance team fulfilled this high school “tradition” when they had their fundraiser, they made about $1,000 from it, making it a worthwhile movie trope. 

“So the car wash was like two weeks ago,” Kaylin said. “And we do [the car wash] in the forest hills foods parking lot and pretty much people can pull up and then we wash their cars and then its donations so they donate however much money they want and then they drive off and we just do that for a couple of hours and we make I think like a thousand dollars.”

The car wash is the second most popular fundraiser, but the pom clinic beat it and claimed the number one spot. The pom clinic has been going on for years and is beloved in the FHC community and on the dance team. 

Please fundraise for us because I feel like the cheer team is a very very underappreciated team. We really do work hard and try to make the student section more fun and we also like having fun with them, so it would be really fun if you could help donate any proceeds so we can keep doing fun stuff.

The pom clinic gives the dance team a chance to meet and coach aspiring young dancers. Many dancers on the team now went to the clinic in their youth which just makes the pom clinic more unique and close to the hearts of the team members. This fundraiser is definitely the most spirited. 

“Our main fundraiser is definitely the pom clinic,” Kaylin said. “Because girls on the team went when they were little, and its grades k through six so people will go all those grades.  We make the most money out of it, and it’s also the most fun and well-known.”

Fun and cheerleading are basically synonyms. Cheer is another sport that needs to branch out from the school and provide its own money. COVID stopped fundraisers for all sports, but cheer is ready to yell their way into the fundraising season. 

“We haven’t been able to do fundraisers in the past couple of years because of COVID and it’s been really hard to start them up,” Senior Sophie Kovachevich said. “So this year we started a can drive and that was our big kickoff to fundraisers. Right now that’s being funded towards new equipment such as mats. We are planning on collaborating with Knapp’s Corner Nutrition and they’re going to be able to help donate some proceeds to help us so hopefully, we will get some money from that.”

With lots of fundraisers on their ledger, the cheer team is hoping to replace their nearly ancient mats and put money away for a rainy day. 

“We have a couple of different ideas [for where to put the money towards],” Sophie said. “Right now our main goal is the mats and those are $7,000. We haven’t had new mats in years so these are really old. Then anything that’s left over or extra we put it into our cheer bank account and that can help fund cheerleaders who can’t afford to do the cheer team or just some little extra things that we can help pay off.” 

A picture from the Cheer can drive (Hannah Levering)

From mats to the fee of joining the team, cheer is expensive so every extra dollar helps; fundraisers are an entertaining and bonding activity that also brings in revenue. The cheer team is hardworking and determined. This shows at each football game as they yell on the sidelines, proving that they deserve every donation that goes their way. 

“I feel like the cheer team is a very underappreciated team,” Sophie said. “We really do work hard and try to make the student section more fun, so it would be really [helpful] if you could help donate any proceeds so we can keep doing fun stuff.”