Golf outing to support Spartans

Lisa Hammer

 The kids chose the name Ridgewood Spartans - now the adults want to come through with the money.

 The Ridgewood Spartans are a two-year athletic cooperative between the AlWood and Cambridge school districts, covering every sport but high school football during the 2009-2010 season. Football will be added in 2010-11.

 The new Ridgewood Spartans Booster Club is hosting a golf outing with prizes and a pork chop meal Saturday, Aug. 15, at Valley View Country Club in Cambridge. For information, phone Andrea Bolduc or superintendent Shannon Bumann at AlWood, (309) 334-2719. Information also is available at the Valley View clubhouse.

 Parents and district residents can sign up as members of the new booster club at registration next month.

 AlWood formerly had a booster club, which in fact will continue to exist, in case the cooperative is ended in two years.

 “They want to be sure that’s still in place if necessary, but they won’t be doing any additional fund raising,” said Michelle Steider, president of the new Ridgewood Booster Club.

 Cambridge’s Booster Club dissolved several years ago, Steider noted.

 Steider already had ties to both school districts as an AlWood teacher and a Cambridge graduate and parent. She said each community is represented on the board equally, and for continuity they tried to have people who not only had students in high school, but also children coming up through the lower grades.

 “Basically we just want to support this new co-op with funds - whatever the kids and coaches need,” Steider said. “Hopefully this co-op will take off and be a really positive thing for our kids.”

 For the group’s first project, they’ve been asked to raise an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 to equip frosh-soph and varsity football squads for the fall of 2010.

 “From here on out, any coach can come with a funding request and hopefully we’ll be able to help,” said Steider. “Any sport we want them all to come to us for any request they may have.”

 “I know the AlWood Boosters said they’ve been able to provide what coaches ask for, and coaches don’t make extravagant requests,” Steider added. “They don’t remember having to turn anyone down, and that’s obviously our goal, too - to support all equally.”

 Steider said other teams’ needs for this school year have been taken care of - in AlWood, largely by their boosters and in Cambridge by the school district. She acknowledged the difficulties of combining teams.

 “It’s a little scary for both towns, but I think both communities are very supportive of their kids,” she said.

 Other officers are Jason Lambin, vice president; Sara Humphrey, secretary; Brandy Greenman, treasurer and Emily Walker, Dianne Jeffries, Todd Greenman and Toni Beck, board members.

 The group adopted by-laws Sunday, July 12, at the AlWood cafeteria. The meetings, open to the public, are always the second Sunday of the month, the location alternates between the two towns. The next meeting in Cambridge will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, in the high school cafeteria.