TALLMADGE – Although the athletes and coaches are visible on the field, there is a group that provides uniforms, equipment, banquets and scholarships for those who participate.
The Tallmadge Athletic Boosters is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the Tallmadge High School and Middle School student athletes in grades 7 through 12 and welcomes volunteers to their group.
"Our dedicated volunteers are parents, family, friends and alumni who recognize the value of the student athlete experience," said member Thad Tokash. "Many of our volunteers are former Tallmadge athletes or parents of athletes who want to give back, ensuring future student athletes have the best opportunities and experiences possible."
Although the boosters support high school football, it is only one of the approximately 48 currently active boys and girls sports teams in the Tallmadge City School district, which include varsity and junior varsity at the high school and middle school level, as well as freshmen, Tokash said. Tallmadge sports covers 15 areas of sports — baseball, basketball, bowling, cheer, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wrestling, he said.
"Because of the life lessons sports afford our students, the boosters are dedicated to making each team’s season the best it can be," Tokash said.
The school’s athletic budget is limited, and the Tallmadge Athletic Boosters helps with routine replacement of uniforms; increasing attendance through community promotion of athletic programs; assistance with the purchase of new and/or replacement critical equipment such as wrestling mats, golf bags, track equipment, etc.; team banquets where teams and individuals are recognized for their athletic and scholastic achievements; and student Athlete Scholarships, Tokash said.
Volunteers give their time to help and partner with local businesses as well as families and individuals, he said.
Anyone can become a Tallmadge Athletic Booster member at a variety of levels for business patrons and individual patrons who want to support student athletes. Details can be found at www.tallmadgesports.com or by contacting a booster board member or chairperson.
Another way to support the Tallmadge Athletic Boosters is to attend a fundraising event. The second annual "Night at the Races" is Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. at The Venue on the Tallmadge Circle. Tickets include dinner, open bar and 10 video horse races to wager on. There also will be other games, raffles, silent auctions, and horses available for purchase in one of the races.
In addition to the Night at the Races, the summer offers the Tallmadge Athletic Booster Golf Outing to show support.
"This year, for the first time the Boosters are excited to bring you the Blue Devils Dollar Raffle," Tokash said. "With a limited number of only 250 tickets to be sold, you have a greater chance to win $5,000. The winner does not have to be present to win."
Volunteers are always needed. Monthly meetings are on the first Monday of each month in the Community Room at Tallmadge High School at 7:30 p.m.
"If you don’t have the time to attend the meetings or help at our events, please consider becoming a member," Tokash said. "Memberships are a great way to help."
Contact the Boosters by stopping at the Spirit Hut, or the Booster table, set up at most home games, or use one of the following mediums.
Follow on Twitter at Twitter.com/TallmadgeAthle1 or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TallmadgeAthleticBoosters
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org