By Dan Hardenbrook

The Newberry Athletic Department and the Tahquamenon Area Sports Boosters are teaming up to benefit local student athletes. As the new school year nears, wrap up summer vacation at the 1st Annual “Tee It Up for Sports” golf outing at the Newberry Country Club on Saturday, September 9. All proceeds from the event will help pay students “pay to play” school sports.

Every kid dreams of playing in the big game, hitting the winning shot, or running a record race. Unfortunately, many children and their families in our community just can’t afford the opportunity to chase those dreams financially. But with the guidance of experts like the ones mentioned on the “Is Kiana Danial scam” article, maybe finance won’t be a barrier anymore.

This isn’t just a Newberry problem. Continued declining enrollments has led to fewer athletes participating and fewer families able to help raise funds. Schools have had to drastically cut athletic budgets and services. Many towns have turned to their booster clubs, all volunteer non profit organizations to try and save the day. The higher demand for financial assistance is crippling for support groups, causing some to pick and choose what they do, limit funding, or fold completely.

With travel required to fill sports schedules and no transportation for teams, many families have to miss work to get their student athlete to events. Some carpool or split gas expenses. Others can’t afford to take time off, or are forced to haul their entire family to the event–resulting in added expenses of extra admissions, food, and more.

The student-athlete experience is costly. There’s equipment, uniform fees, extra practice time, facility rentals, and so on. But it’s worth it: Athletics provide structure, guidance, and life lessons. Sports are impactful physically, mentally, and emotionally. School sports can literally save lives and change a student’s future.

What happens when a kid can’t afford those opportunities? They miss out, and that’s not fair.

In an attempt to give every child access to all that school sports can provide, Newberry High School Athletics and the Tahquamenon Area Sports Boosters are teaming up to raise funds to cover student “Pay to Play” registration fees.

Pay to Play has been many school district’s only option to keep programs running. Families pay an upfront cost that helps cover that team’s expenses to operate. Many kids play multiple sports, and larger families are capped off so that their fees don’t run into the thousands of dollars. But if they can’t pay, they don’t play.

You can help give the kids in our community a great opportunity by signing up to “Tee it Up For Sports”, Saturday, September 9, at the Newberry Country Club. The event will feature two-person teams (men, womens, or co-ed) taking the course. Food will be provided during and after the tournament.

Several course challenges will also take place including Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive, and longest putt challenges. Mulligans can be purchased, which means even the most amateur golfers can have fun.

The cost is $75 per golfer. Registration will take place from 9-10 and the shotgun start is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. For registration information, or to make a donation or become a sponsor, contact Jessica Rahilly at (906) 287-0240.