Updated: 08/28/2014 11:59 PM
Created: 08/28/2014 11:18 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams
The West Irondequoit All Sports Booster Club had about two months to come up with as much money as it could to save the modified sports program. Thursday evening, students and parents got an update and a reason to celebrate.
West Irondequoit Athletic Director Anthony Lipani is cautiously optimistic the school district will have the $48,000 it needs on Tuesday to run 17 modified sports teams.
On Thursday, parents and students learned there’s $31,000 in the bank with about $13,000 more to deposit and commitments for well over the $48,000 needed.
Some students are already celebrating.
“I think that I’m pretty excited they’re going to have soccer,” said Sierra Cartagena.
Lilly Hebblethwaite said, “Actually, we play travel soccer so we were hoping to play modified too.”
While it’s not a done deal until all the money is in the bank and the school board signs off, this is the best news some families have received since learning the district’s austerity budget would cancel many extracurricular activities like modified sports, art and music.
“The great wish is for it all to be restored. If that happens – great. If not, it’s better than the contingency,” said parent Doug Buckley.
A full modified program would cost the district $95,000 and offer 29 teams. The $48,000 will bring back football, soccer, tennis, volleyball, lacrosse, basketball, skiing and wrestling.
Despite the good news, some families left tonight’s meeting disappointed.
Parent Gino Riechel said of his son, “He just spoke with the coach and the way they have their trainings, he won’t start workouts until November after Thanksgiving which would go for next year. So he pretty much can’t play what he wanted to this year.”
Thanks to the aggressive fundraising effort by the West Irondequoit All Sports Booster Club, a lot more kids will get to take part in sports this school year.
IASB president Jim Brennan said, “I think we’re going to make it. I think we’ll have a lot of happy kids on Tuesday.”
All of the money has to be in the bank by Tuesday. Lipani says he’s hoping for a miracle that all $95,000 will be there.