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Johnstown athletic program gets a boost

Johnstown athletic program gets a boost

Donations continue to come in for sports program
Johnstown athletic program gets a boost
Johnstown students greet donors at a fundraising event in June.
Photographer: Peter Barber

The fundraising effort for Johnstown High School's beleaguered sports program will reach a significant milestone Monday.

That's when Dick's Sporting Goods will make a $11,000 donation through its Dick's Sports Matter Foundation to the Foothills Council member school. Johnstown's cost of operation for the 2019-20 academic year is $311,000 for varsity, junior varsity and modified teams.

"That donation will push us over $200,000," Johnstown field hockey coach and fundraising committee member Christine Krempa said. "It's another large donation from a big corporation. Stewart's donated $10,000. Wal-Mart donated $5,000. It's good to see that they believe sports matter. Hopefully, other corporations will see that, believe in our cause and feel more apt to support us."

In June, Johnstown residents approved a $37.87 million budget for the 2019-20 academic year, but within it came no funding for sports and extracurricular activities. A money gathering effort began soon after, kicked off by Johnstown's "1,000 Citizens to Save Our Sports" evening that generated just under $95,000.

"We want to offer a full roster of sports," Krempa said. "Time is ticking down. We will have to make some decisions soon."

Johnstown interim athletic director Mike Satterlee said no deadline to meet the financial goal has yet been set, and fundraising might continue even as fall teams are competing. Practice for the fall sports season begins Aug. 19.

"We're in pretty good shape," Satterlee said. "I am pretty confident we will be able to offer all varsity and modified teams, with the belief we will be able to fund everything."

Johnstown's Purple and Gold Club Booster Club has scheduled another fundraiser for Aug. 24 called "Rock Out for Sports." The event will be held at the Fox Run Golf Club and feature several bands, along with raffles and food vendors.

"We're starting with the assumption that everything is going to run," Satterlee said. "After the 24th we'll know where we really are at, and if we have to make some hard decisions. We've had several discussions as to what might be cut."

"We've gone over every scenario," Krempa said. "We're going to wait to the last minute."

Krempa said Johnstown alumni have been stepping up in support of the athletic program.

"We're getting a lot of uptick as far as classes donating," Krempa said. "The Class of 1967 donated $6,000. The Class of 1965 is right behind them. The Class of 1999 had a reunion last week and we believe a donation is coming in."

Johnstown continues to accept donations through its fundraising page, which can be found at gofundme.com/gmvjqd-johnstown-athletics-save-our-sports.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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