As much as 2020 can allow, it’s been business as usual for the Redwater Athletic Booster Club.
The club, which supports the athletic programs in Redwater ISD for students ranging from seventh to 12th grade, continues to operate the concession stands at football and volleyball games, bringing in much of the revenue it needs to fill requests the district’s budget can’t handle.
“COVID has thrown us for a curve, but we haven’t seen things drop off too much,” club president Ken Robinson said. “We’ve had to adjust the way we do things, but so far we’re still able to run our concessions.”
Among the changes, Robinson said, is the way he orders food for each week’s home game. In years’ past, Robinson would place a large order to stock the concession stands, knowing some of the items that don’t sell one week will keep until the next. Now, Robinson orders just enough for the coming game. The next game, he’s learned all too well, isn’t guaranteed.
“We just don’t know week to week if the next game is going to happen,” Robinson said.
Fortunately, he said, the school hasn’t had to postpone or cancel any varsity games. The club has simply done what’s been required to make the most of the opportunity. The spectators at the games still frequent the concession stands, which have been reconfigured to maximize everyone’s safety.
“We’ve adjusted the windows to make sure everyone stays spread out,” Robinson said. “Everything is sold in Styrofoam. All the condiments are now prepackaged. The volunteers who take orders and process the money don’t touch the food. We’re just doing what we need to do.”
Concessions are a year-round business at Redwater. Once football and volleyball end, the club transitions to selling concessions at the girls and boys basketball games and at the track meets the district hosts.
The concession proceeds go a long way toward filling the club’s coffers and allowing it to support the school’s athletic programs. The club tries to split its budget evenly among the main sports, then works with subsequent requests that come in to meet those needs as they can.
“We work very closely with the athletic director,” Robinson said. “We’re just trying to do the best we can and help when our athletic budget can’t fund something.”
Robinson said the club is working on purchasing a new scorer’s table for the gym that will serve the volleyball and basketball teams. The football program has requested a new inflatable. Those may be the club’s biggest needs, but they aren’t the club’s only priority.
At the end of the year, the club takes a leading role in putting on the athletic department’s awards banquet. The club either serves the food or arranges the catering, but its primary focus is helping seniors as they make their college plans.
“Our goal every year is to give up to 10 $500 scholarships to seniors,” Robinson said. “No matter what happens, we set that money aside so we know we will have it at the end of the year.”
This year, Robinson hopes the district will be able to hold the banquet in person. Last year’s senior awards ceremony had to be held online, which took some of the joy out of awarding the scholarships.
“I really hope we get to go back to doing it in person,” Robinson said. “We provide the senior plaques and that’s always very rewarding for everyone.”
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