Two athletic clubs boost C.R. sports programs

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Clayton Ridge Athletic Booster Club members encourage and support the school's many athletic programs. Seated from left are Nikole Hoeger, Ann Moore, Kelly Roth and Sharon Cunningham; standing are Josh Roth, Lana Troester, Steve Staebler and Courtney and Tim Severson. (Photo submitted)

Note: Steve Staebler is a member of the Clayton Ridge Athletic Booster Club and is a dedicated supporter of city and school athletic programs. 

Submitted by Steve Staebler

Several years ago, I wrote an article discussing the “Home Stretch” for Clayton Ridge Athletics. The article concentrated on the efforts of many individuals and athletes who were putting forth great efforts to improve our athletic teams and other Clayton Ridge activities.    The Garnavillo and Guttenberg School Districts became the Clayton Ridge Eagles and started sharing athletics in the 2000-2001 school year, marking this 2020-2021 season as the 20th anniversary for the Hunter Green, Black, and Silver Eagles. 

There have been ups and downs, struggles, positives and many successes in the athletic programs for the past 20 years. The positive effort by many continues in support of Clayton Ridge Athletics. I believe one of the big positives in our community is our Athletic Booster Club and the Gridiron Club. On various occasions, members of the Booster Club and the Gridiron Club have been asked why there are two athletic support groups and what is the connection. I will attempt to address the question in this article. 

The Clayton Ridge Eagles Athletic Booster Club was in operation again last fall in the concession stand at the football field. A core group of approximately 15 Boosters organized and operated the concession stand for all levels of football competition from flag football through varsity games. The Boosters operate the concession stand for all track meets and will also provide concessions during home games for the new upcoming soccer season. The Boosters also coordinate the membership drive, schedule workers, provide workers at the door for basketball games and perform many other duties. The profits are used to support all Clayton Ridge athletic teams that include the cheerleaders, drill team and now the soccer teams. Support is offered in many ways that includes team camps, individual camps, equipment, motivational speakers, practice jerseys, uniforms, record boards, scholarships, meal assistance and many other requests.

The Gridiron Club is another athletic support group that focuses on football in addition to supporting all Clayton Ridge athletics through the Booster Club. Together, this partnership continues to navigate the “Home Stretch” in supporting athletics. Several years ago, the Booster Club was approved by the Internal Revenue Service to be a tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) 3 and classified as a public charity. Donors can deduct contributions that are made to the Clayton Ridge Eagles Booster Club or simply purchase a membership in the Booster Club. In addition, the Booster Club is qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts.

Although the Gridiron Club’s focus is football, they make a generous donation to the Booster Club for their support of all athletics. In turn, the Gridiron Club is under the Booster Club’s umbrella for tax-exempt status. The Gridiron Club applied for a qualified organization raffle license through the Booster Club and was approved through the State of Iowa a few years ago that allows fund-raising through raffles and other fund-raising initiatives.

The Booster Club and Gridiron Club partnership is strong and will continue to provide additional opportunities for fund-raising that will directly benefit Clayton Ridge athletics. Head football coach Matt Moser stressed how important it is for our two support groups to work together and one of his goals for the Gridiron Club is to make sure we continue a strong relationship.   As we progress through the 2020-2021 school year, we anticipate more improvement and success in Clayton Ridge athletics and more community involvement as we continue to support those efforts.  As usual, I will see you on the “Home Stretch” at the finish line.

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