BRASHER FALLS - Homecoming Weekend at St. Lawrence Central School will have a new twist this year with the addition of a number of fundraising activities.
Supporters can enjoy everything from a Celebrity Tip Night to a tailgating party to an opportunity to earn a prize for a successful soccer or football kick.
Joey Reome, a basketball coach at the school, said he came up with the idea of tailgating to try and raise funds for the athletic department as a whole, rather than teams individually seeking financial support for their particular program.
Obviously fundraising nowadays is a big deal. The whole community has been inundated by each sports program, Mr. Reome said.
As a basketball coach, he said he tries to avoid the door-to-door fundraising by his athletes.
Its not because theyre a bad idea. Its just that these people are getting their doors knocked on constantly for bottles and cans and buy this raffle ticket, Mr. Reome said.
That led coaches to come up with the idea to raise money for the entire athletic department and have that money disbursed among the teams.
My idea was a tailgate party. I know some fans do some tailgating, but I dont think its been used as a fundraiser, he said.
He recalled that, when Tupper Lake played the Larries football team last year, their fans held a tailgate party.
I didnt know that until after I had already come up with this idea. I dont know if they do it on a regular basis, but I thought Id love to try that and see if we can make it a school fundraiser and get the whole community involved, Mr. Reome said.
They specifically targeted Homecoming Weekend for the fundraising activities. Among the games this weekend are a football game against Gouverneur.
We would have loved it to be against Massena, he said. Its Gouverneur that were playing. We got the word out to Gouverneur. We have no indication if theyll come and tailgate or not.
Activities unofficially began Tuesday night during a girls swim team meet at home. Mr. Reomes wife is the coach for the team, and they asked for a $1 donation for admission for those who wanted to pay. That raised about $60, according to Mr. Reome.
The official activities begin tonight with Celebrity Tip Night at the Riverview Restaurant in Brasher Falls. Guest servers from the schools coaching and support staff will be waiting tables and serving up laughs from 4 p.m. until closing. Chris Normile will be the master of ceremonies for the evening.
All the coaches are going to come down and wait tables as celebrity waiters. Most of the out-of-season coaches will be there right at 4 oclock. In-season coaches will be there as soon as their games and practices are done a little later. The Riverview is gladly donating tips given that night to St. Lawrence Central sports, Mr. Reome said.
Thursday is Wing Night at the Riverview, and guests can also order off the regular menu.
Its usually pretty busy there on Thursdays, he said.
The first-ever SLC Tailgate Party kicks off starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot behind the high school gymnasium. For $5 per car, supporters can reserve a spot at the party featuring non-alcoholic beverages along with free entrance to all of Saturdays games.
The day includes music, 50/50 raffles, a concession and the sale of Larrie Spirit-wear.
The St. Lawrence Central girls varsity soccer team will kick off the athletic day at 10:30 a.m. on the varsity soccer field with a game against Parishville-Hopkinton. The entrance fee is $1 for adults, and there will be a halftime contest for a lucky fan to make a goal.
The football game against Gouverneur begins at 2 p.m. Adult admission is $1, and fans sporting tailgate bracelets will not be charged. A fan will have a chance at halftime to put the pigskin through the uprights and win.
We have a field goal kick and soccer kick at the half as a different way to raise some money. Its $1 to buy a ticket. They put their name in a hat and well draw three names out of the hat, Mr. Reome said.
The celebration continues after the game at the Riverview, where the official After-Glo party will be held. A tailgating bracelet is worth a free drink.
Mr. Reome said anybody that participates in the tailgate party at the school receives a wrist band. After the game, all they have to do is show their wristband at the bar and theyll receive the free drink.
The Riverview is also putting a jug up on the bar that night for St. Lawrence Central athletics for any donations anybody wants to make. The Riverview is doing a huge favor for us, he said.
The school plans to stage another fundraiser in a couple of weeks - a 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer walk and run.
Its another way to raise money for the whole athletic program, Mr. Reome said.
Its all in the name of keeping sports going at the school despite difficult budget times, he said.
I think were pretty proud. Were all pretty tight-knit. We have youth sports in every sport we offer at the high school level. At this point it would be really frustrating to lose anything we have when it comes to the sports program. We have to band together to keep them going, he said.