The effects of the tough economy are being felt far and wide, including the Bryan County High Booster Club.
In its meeting Monday night, Booster Club President Kevin Taylor presented the larger-than-usual group with a new plan called PEACE (Parents, Educators, and Communities for Excellence) for raising extra-curricular organization funds.
"The current way is not working. There are too many sports and activities competing against each other for fundraising dollars in this community. The community is so small, there's not enough business to support it," Taylor said.
"The Booster Club had barely enough funds for last year's scholarship and have only been able to pay bills within the last year. We haven't had enough money to give out to the organizations," he said.
The new plan makes use of committees that raise funds for the entire program and then divides the funds by percentage among organization such as football, baseball, track and other supported activities.
BCHS Athletic Director Ron Lewis said they were trying to find a way to help everybody.
"If we can all sacrifice a little it would help everyone," He said.
The sacrifice concerns some parents, including Sherry Carter, who said she has spent more than 10 years raising funds for her children's activities, including baseball, played by her son Sherrod.
Carter isn't happy with the designated percentages for each activity and is afraid enough money would not be available for the organization she worked hard to support on her son's behalf.
"We usually raise between $10,000 and $12,000 a year for baseball, and there's never anything left over. If they take that and divide it, there won't be enough for baseball," she said.
"I've seen it before. You put money in a general fund then it's not there when you need it," Carter said.
Carter said she understood the problem with all organizations asking the local businesses for money, but she was doing what she must to support her children's activities.
"There's not enough business here to raise funds like they do in Richmond Hill, but I don't see myself raising money that's not going to benefit my child. His sport is what concerns me, and I would hate to raise money he may never see then have to do without," she said.
Booster Club Vice President Patricia Shuman told the group they were trying to get everyone working together toward a common goal of supporting all the children.
"There's not any money. They're just not giving it anymore. We have to come together as a school so our kids can have what the other schools have. As it is now, we're too split." Shuman said.
BCHS Principal Harold Roach said they have to start somewhere and need input to decide if PEACE is a feasible plan.
"Looking at a bigger view, it's all about the kids. We are trying to make a better way to support them. We have a small community and we all have to work together." Roach said.
According to Taylor, nothing is etched in stone yet. The meeting was the first presentation of the plan so they could get input from the parents, coaches and interested others before moving forward.
"There's still some tweaking to do." Taylor said.
The next BCHS Booster Club meeting will be March 2 at 7 p.m. in the BCHS cafeteria.