By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – With a March 23 deadline fast approaching, an organization dubbed Home Team has mounted a fundraising effort to raise $9,350.70 to restore junior high baseball, junior high track and volley for the coming school year at the Water Valley School District.
These three sports were among cuts totalling almost $500,000 slated for the 2009-2010 school year, and were announced in January after the State Department of Education trimmed 3.23 percent in funding from all school districts across the state. Following that announcement, Water Valley was one of 14 school districts identified in the state that would be operating in the red by the end of the current school year.
Dr. Joe Walker heads up Home Team, and the organization’s first priority was lobbying school board members to allow the community to fund the three programs. Dr. Walker and organizer Leigh Ann Coffey presented a petition with 440 names supporting the baseball program, 201 for volleyball and 204 for the track program to board members at a meeting.
At that meeting, Coffey stressed to the board the positive role that the school’s sports programs provides for the students. Their efforts were successful after board members voted in favor of allowing the community to provide the funding.
Home Team has now shifted to the next priority – raising the almost $10 grand needed to fund the three programs.
“We are working hard and we believe in this mission,” Coffey told the Herald. The organization has set up a bank account at Mechanics Bank, and are soliciting donations.
“We understand what difficult economic times these are, no donation is too small,” Coffey stressed. Home Team is also circulating a fundraising letter stressing the role of athletics in the school. “Athletics, just like band, cheerleading and every other activity that some people place outside of pure academics are critical to the betterment of our students and provide them with a rich education environment,” the letter states.
All checks should be made payable to Home Team, and can be dropped off at Mechanics Bank or mailed to the bank at P.O. Box 707, Water Valley, Miss., 38965. Coffey also stressed for donors to keep a record of their contribution.
For additional information or to make a contribution, Coffey can be contacted at 662-457-0479.